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

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

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

Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies

These brownies are gluten- and grain-free, and by using stevia and only a small amount of honey to sweeten they are very low in carbs too. The use of almonds, flax, egg and avo means that they’re a decent source of protein; and the coconut oil, along with the flax, is great for controlling cholesterol. A truly guilt-free treat!

Ingredients

65g raw cacao paste
80g organic virgin coconut oil
60ml raw almond butter
60ml raw honey
2 eggs
1/2 cup ripe avo
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla powder
1 cup ground almonds
60ml ground flax seed
1 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
1/4 cup chopped raw pecan nuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a square baking dish with coconut oil.

Place the cacao paste, coconut oil, almond butter and honey in a glass or steel bowl which can fit over a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl over the saucepan, gently melting the ingredients.

Mash the avo with a fork until smooth. Whisk the egg and vanilla, and combine with the avo. Set aside.

Combine the ground almonds, ground flax, stevia, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

Once the chocolate mixture is completely melted and whisked together, slowly pour it into the egg mixture whilst whisking vigorously, to prevent the heat from scrambling the egg. Stir in the dry ingredients and the chopped pecans.

Spread the batter into the baking dish and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Fig, Berry and Coconut Cake

IMG_0938

I love fresh figs, and they’re even better roasted with a bit of honey. This cake is very simple and quick to make, as well as being wheat-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. Perfect for afternoon tea 🙂

Ingredients

60ml raw honey, plus a little extra
60ml organic coconut blossom sugar
125ml organic virgin coconut oil
2 free-range eggs
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
2 tbsp acaì powder
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1 cup organic or homemade coconut flour
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
2 large fresh figs

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Cream the honey, sugar and coconut oil with an electric beater. Add the eggs one at a time while beating. Add the vanilla, salt, acaì powder and tapioca starch and beat well. Add the coconut flour and baking powder, and lastly stir in the berries.

Spread the batter into a 20cm cake tin lined with baking paper or a silicon liner. Cut the figs into quarters lengthways and push them into the batter in a neat circle, with the inside of the fig facing upwards. Drizzle a little honey over the figs.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden, the figs caramelised and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out.

Health and happiness!

Love,
Raine

Goji and Baobab Bars

Goji & Baobab Bars

For those of you who have been saying that some of our recipes are a bit intimidating, here’s the perfect place to start. These energy bars are so simple to make, all you need is a food processor, no other techniques required!

Ingredients

1 cup goji berries
1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
6 – 8 fresh medjool dates (about 125g)
2 tbsp baobab powder
1/2 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
4 tbsp ground flax
1/3 cup organic virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp raw honey

Method

Place the goji berries and brazil nuts in a food processor and process into a rough crumb. Add the dates, making sure to remove the pips and process again. Add the baobab powder, salt, and ground flax and process to combine. Finally add the coconut oil and honey and process until everything is well combined and sticky but with a rough texture.

Spread evenly in a loaf tin lined with clingfilm (for easy removal) and refrigerate until set. Cut into bars and keep refrigerated.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Roasted Lemon Ice Cream

Roasted Lemon Ice Cream

My new favourite thing to do with lemons is to roast them. The natural sugar in the lemons caramelises, giving it a beautiful flavour somewhat similar to preserved lemons. This egg-based (but dairy-free) ice cream is packed full of an intense lemon flavour, the slight bitterness of which is off set by the honey. It pairs beautifully with my Raw Chocolate Tart, or just some shavings of raw chocolate.

Ingredients

380g whole lemons (about 3)
125ml raw honey
125ml organic virgin coconut oil
250ml almond or coconut milk
1/2 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
1/2 tsp organic vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of himalayan salt
4 egg yolks
2 whole eggs

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Cut the knobbly end off the lemons and slice into quarters lengthways. Cut off the pithy white membrane which runs through the middle of the lemon and remove all pips.

Lemon Ice Cream 2

Place the lemons in an ovenproof dish and roast for about 1 hour, until the lemons are soft and slightly caramelised. Double check that there are no pips as adding these to the blender could ruin the flavour.

Place all the ingredients in the blender, adding the eggs last so that they don’t start to cook when they come into contact with the hot lemons. Blend until completely smooth. Ice cream is traditionally made with raw eggs, but if you’re put off by the thought of raw egg, continue blending until the mixture heats up to 65 C. You can measure this with a thermometer if you’re really worried, but basically if there is steam coming off the mixture the egg is cooked. You can also taste the difference when the egg is cooked.

Place the mixture in the fridge until cooled, and then put it into an ice cream machine to churn until frozen. If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can simply put it in the freezer and mix with a whisk every 30 minutes to break up crystals, until almost frozen, at which point you can leave it to freeze till set.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine