Chocolate Truffle Hearts

There is nothing inside these chocolates that makes them ‘truffles’ necessarily, it’s just that the mixture is so decadent that when it sets thickly – as it does in the heart-shapes moulds I have because they’re so deep – it honestly tastes and feels like Belgian chocolate truffles melting into your mouth, and yet totally free of refined sugar, dairy, gluten, eggs and preservatives.

They look impressive but I’ll let you into a little secret: they are so easy to make! 4 simple ingredients and that’s it. All you need other than that is a saucepan, a spoon and a silicone heart mould. I used one similar to this.

Fancy treating your loved one? Or just want to keep something rich and decadent nearby for those days when you’re really craving chocolate? These are the ones!

Ingredients

5 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp raw cacao powder
2-3 tbsp maple syrup (depending on your preference of sweetness)
2 tbsp cashew butter

Method

Simply put all the chocolate ingredients into a saucepan and melt gently over a low heat, stirring often.

Once it’s melted, use a teaspoon to spoon into the little hearts and put it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours then turn out and store in a container in the fridge.

Devour!

Love & health,
Lauren

Apple & Cinnamon Granola Bars

apple-cinnamon-granola-bars

 

These are the best things for on-the-go breakfasts for those busy mornings. You can freeze them and defrost in batches as and when you need them which also helps. They are full of slow-releasing energy and great nutrients with no refined sugar, dairy, gluten, wheat or eggs so are the perfect healthy breakfast or snack for you and the kids.

Ingredients

2 tbsp chia seeds
230g oats
140g medjool dates
3 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp applesauce (homemade or store-bought apple puree)
4 tbsp almond butter
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of Himalayan salt

Method

Put the chia seeds in a small bowl with 8 tsp purified water, mix until incorporated and leave for about 15 minutes until it turns into a gel. (this will be an egg replacement)

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line a 26x26cm square silicone baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Put the dates and coconut oil in the blender and blend until nearly smooth but there can be a few lumpy date bits.

In a bowl, mix the oats, applesauce, almond butter, cinnamon and salt then mix in the date and coconut oil mix.

Add the chia gel once it’s ready and mix well.

Spread into the prepared baking tin and press down so it’s evenly distributed and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Leave to cool fully before removing and cutting into slices or squares.

Love & health,
Lauren

Roasted Vegetable Pasta (Gluten Free) with RawSpiceBar Chipotle Spice Mix

roasted-veg-pasta

I was recently sent this month’s spice collection by RawSpiceBar. I’d never tried their spice mixes before so thought I’d give this one a go and added their Chipotle Salt spice mix to a roasted vegetable pasta, to make a normal everyday meal a bit more exciting.

It tasted amazing and what I love about it is that all the spices are organic, ethically sourced, sugar-free, gluten-free, paleo and vegan.

If you like flavour but are not too sure how to incorporate it into every day cooking, head over to RawSpiceBar and sign up to their monthly spice box and receive 3 freshly ground, recipe-ready flavour kits, direct to your door each month.

Ingredients

Brown rice pasta (enough for however many people you’re cooking for)
1 courgette
1 red pepper
2 red onions
Extra virgin olive oil
Half a tin of tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 sachet RawSpiceBar Chipotle Salt mix
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Half tsp paprika
Half tsp cumin
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Chop the vegetables and add them to a large bowl and drizzle the olive oil over, then pour the RawSpiceBar mix over and mix well.

Put onto a baking tray and bake for around half an hour.

In a small saucepan add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin and leave on a low light, stirring quite often. Season more as needed. You’ll want to leave this on the heat for about the same amount of time that the vegetables are in the over, around half an hour, so don’t cook the pasta until the end.

When the sauce has thickened and looks ready, boil the pasta as per the packet instructions.

Once ready, drain the pasta in a colander, preserving a smidgen of water back.

Add the tomato sauce to the saucepan and mix well, then add the vegetables and mix.

Serve immediately.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

 

Broad Bean, Sweet Potato & Cumin Plus Baby Led Weaning vs Blended

Broad bean, sweet pot, onion, cumin

How great are these Nuk by Annabel Karmel food cube trays? Perfect for batch cooking for your little ones.

So, let’s talk baby led weaning (BLW). I had intentions of doing only baby led with Braxton but when the time came (when he was 6 months), he wasn’t very good at picking food up and he started getting very frustrated. So I decided that ‘baby led’, for me anyway, means being led by your own baby. Why should I let him get frustrated just because I’d decided I wanted to do something a certain way? He was trying to communicate with me that it wasn’t working for him, and he needed some more time, but was certainly ready to eat the food, so I decided to do a mixture of blended foods and BLW.

He’s now nearly 9 months so feeds himself a lot, and he’s got so good at it! He’s even perfected his pincer grip and understands how to take a bite and keep the rest in his hand while he chews, then finish what’s in his hand when he’s ready, so I give him a lot of food that he can feed himself with, but I still spoon feed him some things as I want to make sure he gets heaps of nutrients so I’ll make a blend of veg like this one, and it’s too hard for him to feed himself with a spoon.

What I’m saying is that we do a mixture of the two. At the beginning I’d mainly feed him myself but always give him something he could hold himself with each meal; some avocado, a piece of cucumber, a piece of broccoli, some roast chicken cut in strips.

This has all worked really well for us and he most definitely has still developed when it comes to his fine motor skills and hand-mouth coordination, despite what the militant baby led weaners told me about doing a mixture!

When it comes down to it, you have to read your own baby, as they are all so different, and do what works best for YOUR baby and YOUR family. This has worked brilliantly for us and I love that we can be flexible.

I hadn’t planned to make this, but I was sent broad beans in my Abel & Cole box this week, so I decided to make this mixture and it worked really well.

Ingredients 

1 bag of broad beans (they should come in their pods, then you must take them out of the pods)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 cube of homemade bone broth / veg stock or a low salt Kallo stock cube

Method

Shell your broad beans then put them, along with the other veg, into the steamer (this helps the veg retain more nutrients than boiling them).

If your stock cube is homemade and frozen, melt it in a saucepan over a low heat. If you are using a store-bought stock cube, mix it in a quarter cup boiling water.

When the veg are soft, put them in the blender with the stock and cumin and blend until smooth or leave lumps if you prefer.

I hope your baby likes this as much as mine did!

Love,
Lauren & Braxton

Winter Detox Smoothie

Avocado smoothie

It’s all about the detox this winter and although I usually juice my green veg as I prefer the texture, I also like to make the odd smoothie in the vitamix or nutribullet so that I can get the superfoods in like spirulina, and add an avocado which I don’t do when juicing. This one is great to get the metabolism going and boost the immune system on these cold winter days.

Ingredients

Half an avocado
Handful of kale
1 banana
100ml coconut water
1 tsp spirulina
1 probiotic capsule
1 tsb Manuka honey
2 ice cubes

Method

Add all the ingredients to your blender (I used a Vitamix) and open the probiotic capsule and pour it in. Blend, pour and enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

White Chocolate and Flaxseed Blondies

White chocolate flax blondies

I love an afternoon snack with a matcha latte, and especially as I’m breastfeeding, I need extra energy but I have to make the effort to eat healthy snacks with great nutrients in them so I added flaxseeds to this one for omega 3 essential fatty acids – essential when breastfeeding. These went down a treat in my house and unfortunately I wasn’t left with many for myself!

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil
50g cacao butter
3 tbsp organic natural peanut butter
3 eggs
Pinch Himalayan salt
2 tbsp flaxseeds
70g coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp pure maple
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g ground almonds
Vegan white chocolate chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 160. Line a square silicone baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan with boiling water. Once it’s melted, add the peanut butter and stir until it all melts in together.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl and once beaten, add the coco palm sugar and whisk with a fork until totally combined. Then add the salt, vanilla and maple and mix.

Add the peanut butter mixture and mix well, then add the ground almonds and flax and mix until combined.

Flatten the mixture out into the prepared baking tin and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. In my oven it only needed 20. You want it to be moist but cooked through but don’t overcook otherwise it will go dry.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Tropical Baobab Smoothie

Tropical Baobab Smoothie

I’m really trying to make the most out of the summer fruits before they disappear until next summer! I can’t get enough of them and really miss them during the winter months. As our main food belief is based on chemical free, organic food, we only eat what’s in season. If you eat strawberries in February, the likelihood is they’ve come from a country far away and have had to be packed full of preservatives to keep them fresh until they arrive in the UK so as I said, trying to get my fix while I can.

My iron levels have dropped as I approach the end of my pregnancy so I have increased my intake of Baobab to help increase my iron and boost my immune system. This smoothie is seriously delicious…

Ingredients

200ml almond milk
2 ice cubes
6 strawberries
Large handful blueberries
Quarter pineapple
1 tsp baobab
1 tsp ground flax seeds

Method

Simply put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren