Best Ever Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

These need very little introduction! They are by far the best cookies I’ve ever made and I honestly just threw the ingredients together as I was in such a rush so it was hard for me to remember the exact measurements! They are egg, soya, gluten, dairy and sugar free (depending on what chocolate chips you use) and are just too yummy!

Ingredients

1 cup ground almonds
1 ½ cups organic rolled oats
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch Himalayan salt
5 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp almond butter
¼ cup almond milk
Handful vegan chocolate chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c and line 2 baking trays with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add all the wet ingredients to the blender and blend until combined.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix.

 

Form into balls with your hands and press down on them on the prepared baking trays and bake for 10 minutes.

Put the baking sheets with the cookies on them on a wire rack or on top of some tea towels on the work surface (the surface they cool on shouldn’t be cold) to cool away from the heat of the baking trays so they don’t crisp up too much. Once cool put in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Organic Spelt Soda Bread

IMG_6588

I love bread! There, I said it. Who doesn’t? When you try to live a healthy lifestyle you can’t really eat many breads because they all have so many preservatives in them, as well as other nasty ingredients. As you all know from my previous few posts, I’ve started weaning my baby, and although I am spoon feeding him some food, I’m trying to do as much baby led weaning as possible – or as much as he tells me he is comfortable with… So I’m looking for as many options as possible of foods that he can hold and feed himself. Toast is a great breakfast option but store-bought breads are so full of rubbish that I really don’t want him to have them.

I saw one of Paul Hollywood’s baking shows and he was making classic soda bread. It looked so simple and I thought, I must be able to substitute the white and wholemeal flours for spelt flour, so I gave it a go and also added some other ingredients to suit my own taste.

It turned out delicious – perfect actually, if I do say so myself!

Although spelt is ‘classified’ as wheat, it’s actually not wheat at all. It’s an ancient grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years and has nothing man-made in it and although it technically has gluten in it, the molecular make-up of the gluten in spelt flour is very different to that of normal wheat flour. it is more soluble and therefore more easily digested and less likely to cause an intolerance. And from gluten to dairy… It’s not often I eat dairy but if I can get a nice cheese from a farmer’s market I’m a happy bunny and this bread is perfect with a lovely bit of cheese on top, (there is also dairy in the recipe) and let’s add to that a glass of organic wine, seeing as we’re already being naughty! Alternatively, a good dollop of almond butter will taste amazing too.

Ingredients

2 cups (a normal mug is fine to measure a cup)
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
284ml carton of organic buttermilk
1 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200c and line a loaf tin with baking parchment and grease with coconut oil.

Sift the spelt flour through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the tiny bits of brown left over in the sieve. Add the salt, bicarb and cinnamon and mix well.

Now add the buttermilk and agave, mix it in with the spoon by folding, then use your hands to really knead it all together. You’ll have to do this fairly quickly as the buttermilk will start reacting with the bicarbonate of soda. You could sprinkle some flour onto the work surface and knead it there instead of the bowl. I find this makes it easier.

Once it’s thoroughly mixed in, shape it into the loaf tin with your hands.

Take a knife and cut a fairly deep cross into the top, then sprinkle with some more flour and put in the oven for 30 minutes. When ready the base should make a hollow sound when you tap it.

It should fall easily out of the loaf tin, then place it on a wire rack to cool a little, but you can cut into it while it’s still warm – and you’re going to want to!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Savoury Granola

Savoury Granola

I’ve got to thank my friend Lana for the inspiration on this one, she inspired me to make it. Savoury granola is fast becoming a popular choice of breakfast food in Israel so I thought I’d try it and I really enjoyed it. It almost tastes like popcorn, just much healthier – and you can serve with anything. I had it with Coyo coconut yoghurt but you can have it with eggs or anything else you might have for breakfast.

Ingredients

2 cups organic jumbo oats
3 egg whites, whisked
4 thyme sprigs
Handful walnuts
2 tbsp poppy seeds
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Salt & pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and prepare a baking tray with baking paper.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then add in the oats and stir gently.

Break of the small thyme leaves from the sprigs and add these, along with the nuts, seeds, salt and pepper and mix well.

Spread evenly on the baking tray and put in the oven for 30 minutes. Mix after 15 minutes. The eggs will bind the oats so simply break it up with a spoon once its ready and keep in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Lemon & Poppy Seed Smoothie

Lemon & Poppy Seed smoothie

This is a beautifully fresh smoothie for the last days of summer. The baobab powder intensifies the tartness of the lemon and provides many health benefits. Baobab is an eco friendly African product, which is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Poppy seeds are also high in calcium, magnesium and potassium, as well as iron, zinc and essential fatty acids. Add the vitamin C in the fresh lemon and you’ve got a smoothie which will help to bolster your immunity for the coming winter months.

Ingredients (serves 1)

1 frozen banana
1/2 a lemon, including skin, pips removed
1 tbsp poppy seeds
10ml chia seeds
1 tbsp baobab powder
1/8 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
1 – 2 tsp raw honey, depending on your preference
90ml coconut cream
90ml water
5 ice cubes
optional: 1 scoop plain protein powder (you may need to add some more water)


Method

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren & Raine

 

 

 

Nutty Brownies with White Chocolate Topping

White Chocolate Brownies

I needed something indulgent for my birthday this week and what is more indulgent than a chocolate brownie with a white chocolate topping? I had never actually used raw cacao butter as a topping and I didn’t know how it would solidify on top of a brownie but I gave it a go and was so happy with the result. These brownies are just delicious. Soft on the bottom with the crunch of the nuts and crunchy white chocolate on the top.

The cacao offers heaps of bioavailable protein and the nuts and flaxseeds offer omega-3 essential fatty acids. These are gluten free, wheat free, grain free, dairy free, refined-sugar free, egg free and are vegan.

Brownie
1.5 cups almonds, soaked overnight
½ cup ground flaxseeds
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup dates, soaked overnight
4 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp organic natural maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch Himalayan salt
Handful dark chocolate chips

Topping
250g raw cacao butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp organic natural maple syrup

Method

Line a square cake tin with a piece of baking paper at the bottom.

Drain the almonds, pat them dry with a piece of kitchen roll then put them in the food processor and blitz until mainly a meal but still with some chunks as this is nice for the brownie.

Then add the rest of the brownie ingredients except for the chocolate chips and blend well. Turn out into a bowl and add the chocolate chips and mix well with a large spoon.

Press into prepared cake tin and put in the freezer while you make the topping.

To make the topping just put the cacao butter in a pan over a very low heat and very gently melt. Once melted add the rest of the ingredients.

Wait for the topping to totally cool before taking the base out the freezer and pouring this over the top. It will seem very transparent but it will harden. Put it in the fridge for an hour then cut into slices.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

 

 

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

Mixed Roasted Beets

Mixed Roast Beets

Excuse the quality of this picture. I made these at night so it was quite dark but they still look delicious – and they tasted delicious! This is such a simple side dish to make and so nutritious.

Beetroot are great antioxidants and help detox the liver and the blood, they are also high in many vitamins, including folate, so a great vegetable to eat when pregnant.

Ingredients

2 red beets
2 golden beets
2 chioggia beets
Drizzle of olive oil
Handful of thyme
Salt & pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and prepare an oven tray with baking paper or silver foil.

Peel your beets and slice them thinly. Put them all in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and mix until covered.

Place on the baking tray and roast for around half an hour.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

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

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

 

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