coconut oil

Vegan Coconut Chia Balls

coconut chia ballsOh my, hello coconut powder, woweeee, where have you been all my life? I wanna tell you guys how amazing this stuff is but you should check out a more informed write up about coconut powder’s wonderful versatility because I want you to get involved. It’s not coconut flour nor desiccated coconut but pure coconut powder and I reckon I found another absolutely delicious way to put coconut powder to work- vegan coconut chia balls. So simple, yet sooooooo bloody tasty and the best part is these cost nothing, well they cost a little tiny bit. I got a huge 1 kg bag for £3 from my local Indian supermarket and probably used only 50 pence worth for this one recipe. Thank you very much. Coconut powder is officially high up on the list of my coconut loving, coconut milk on tap (now there’s a thought) and creamy curries make this stuff pretty special…..oh god, what would happen if there was no coconut….shudder. Life would be pretty awful though, wouldn’t it?delicious coconut chia balls

My day was filled with dull training and long team meetings, oh and what a drag it was to see the sun finally come out only to be stuck in a huge strip lit meeting room. That’s the worst for me – being cooped up indoors when there’s sunshine and blue skies outside but luck was on my side as my meeting finished really early! Obviously I came straight home to make these delicious coconut chia balls whilst sitting outside in the sunshine and generally chillaxing. Yes I did just use that word.

Making coconut + chia balls

I think people across from the canal, usually walking dogs wonder what I’m doing with my kitchen utensils and camera laid out all over the garden furniture. I do get some funny looks! Oh no, I just had a horrid thought, soon it will be winter and really cold so where am I going to make all my food…………of course I have a kitchen but it’s really not the same as al fresco food prep! I guess I’ll survive, inside, in my kitchen…..just like normal people!The ball making station!

So the mixture only made 10 balls which really wasn’t enough for me so just double or triple the mixture for a larger batch because they really don’t last long. Packed full of creamy coconut and ultra satisfying, I can honestly say that these are way tastier than any shop bought sweets I’ve ever had. You know what I love on top of all that, there’s no ridiculous ingredients or additives either, zero hydrogenated fats and very low in sugar. In fact they’re a very healthy treat. You know what else, coat these in some raw dark chocolate and you can say goodbye to Bounties forever!Ball station!

I just wanna persuade you to make these coconut chia balls, so here goes: they contain the amazing superfood chia and coconut, very cheap to make, no blender involved so minimal mess and super duper quick to throw together, healthy and better than a Bounty! No problemo If you don’t have any chia to hand as sesame seeds, cocoa, carob or any crushed seed or nut would work wonders as a coating. Enjoy. Delicious coconut chia balls

Vegan coconut chia balls

(makes 10 balls, yeah double this recipe!)

1 cup coconut powder
pinch of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup crushed chia seeds

Method:

1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl + combine well.
2. Using your hands form 10 small smooth coconut balls. The mixture should be very maleable when squeezed together but if it’s a bit dry just add a little extra coconut oil.
3. Lightly dampen the outside of each ball + roll in the crushed chia seeds.
4. Transfer to freezer for 30 minutes + store in an airtight container if you haven’t already devoured them. Consume within 4 days.

Spiced Pumpkin + Pecan Spelt Bread (Vegan)

pecan & pumpkin loafI’ve decided autumn is definitely my favourite season, the weather, the colours, well everything really – just so beautiful. If I could pause weather, cos I often daydream about this (but that would be too cool), I would pause it on a perfect autumn day – blue sky, crisp air, warm coloured vibrant leaves and comfortable outside temperatures. Perfect. Oh, and the food’s good too, I’m loving all the seasonal veggies at the mo especially the pumpkin explosion.Delicious pumpkin + pecan loaf

It really is all about the pumpkin in October which is OK with me because it’s easily my favourite vegetable after all. I love the fact that this delicious veggie can be dinner or breakfast, sweet and savoury. It’s too impressive, well in vegetable terms of impressiveness that is. Such a good job there’s sooo many pumpkins around at the moment cos I’m going to be making a lot of squash based recipes over the next few weeks, recipes like this vegan spiced pumpkin spelt bread.process 2

I’m not sure if this is pumpkin bread as it’s definitely walking the cake line so we could say it’s a kinda hybrid. Anyway, take 5 minutes out to throw this together and you’ll be rewarded with a lightly sweetened, moist, warmly spiced and very moreish loaf cake.Sliced pumpkin + pecan bread

This was made early saturday morning ready for my Mum and Sis coming round for our group hair cut. My Mum was pulling my leg the other day……saying she sees all this food on the blog which doesn’t quite make it over to her! Ooops, sorry love!Pumpkin + pecan spelt bread

Anyway, we ate it all……..well it wasn’t hard and got our hair cut too. Freshly baked pumpkin bread and a fresh haircut = a good way to spend saturday morning.

Hope you had a pumpkin packed weekend!
Pumpkin + pecan bread

Spiced pumpkin spelt bread

(12 slices)

dry:

1 + 1/4 cups spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg + ginger
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup crushed pecans/walnuts

wet:

1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 175ºC  + grease a small loaf tin. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients until combined thoroughly.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mixture and combine thoroughly.
3. Transfer to the loaf tin + bake for 50-60 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven + allow to cool before serving. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Healthy Black Bean Chocolate Fudge Brownies (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Black bean fudge brownie stack!Because black beans are not just for tacos!

If there’s one bean I favour it’s the little old black bean and I just love everything about them.  I’ve been blind to their amazing versatility as I usually just throw them in a Mexican stew or a big avocado salad, so I was pretty excited to combine my black bean love with my equal adoration of cocoa. I’m thinking, dark, chocolatey, fudge-like, gooey, crumbly at the sides and soft in the middle. I was right, this is exactly how they are…..were.Two black bean brownies......

Traditionally, chocolate fudge brownies are chock a block with bad fats, white sugar, digestive clogging gluten and dirty dairy but these are the perfect example of how something which really is ultra healthy can still be delicious. Let’s change all that, there really is no need to go without or crave junk when chocolate fudge brownies like this are knocking about. That’s good information to have. Make them and see for yourself, don’t take my word for it. If you don’t make them, please do take my word for it!Simple process

To achieve a fudgey brownie like texture I used agave rather than brown sugar and dotted each brownie with dark chocolate chips and pecan pieces for a richer more decadent treat. Scrap that, they’re hardly a treat with an ingredient list like this, more an everyday necessity. The black beans, chia, coconut oil and cocoa make this chocolate brownie a shining example of wholesome goodness brimming with health attributes, a brownie that kicks plant butt and makes you feel better than OK. Oh and don’t worry about eating the raw brownie batter straight off the spoon……it’s all plants so get stuck in. Just as good uncooked?

So, here’s the black bean brownie lowdown:

grain free
dairy free
gluten free
iron rich
high fibre
good source of protein
so delicious

Please try these! Black bean chocolate brownies

Healthy black bean chocolate fudge brownies

(makes 12)

2 tablespoons chia seed soaked in  6 tablespoons of water
230 gram black beans (drained weight)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons almond milk
pecans + chocolate chips to dress

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 175 ºC. Add the chia egg to your blender  or food processor + blitz for 30 seconds. Next add the remaining ingredients apart from pecans + chocolate chips + pulse until a smooth batter is achieved. The ideal consistency should be quite hard to pour but not as thick as frosting. Add more milk/water if it is too thick.
2. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the tin + dress with nuts + chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 25-3o minutes. They are ready when the outside of the muffin has come away slightly from the sides of the tin but some softness in the middle.
3. Allow to cool fully before loosening the edges with a fork to remove. They are pretty delicate so handle with care.

Note: The chia seeds can be replaced by 1 egg for a non vegan version. The agave syrup can be replaced by brown rice syrup, honey (non vegan), maple syrup or 1/4 cup regular sugar.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker.

Healthy Dark Chocolate + Salted Peanut Butter Cups (GF + Vegan)

Chocolate + PB cup stackHave your peanut butter cup and eat it, in fact eat two! No guilt required, ever.

I loved Reese’s peanut butter cups when I was a kiddo, definitely one of my favourite chocolate treats growing up. Probably because they are a little bit delicious and I’ve had a love affair with peanut butter my whole life but more so, they weren’t as widely available as they are now. I remember my uncle bringing a suitcase load when he visited from the states, well these amongst many other US candy bars. Pretty exciting times for an 11 year old. The funny thing is now that these are pretty standard in the UK, i’m not fussed about them at all! Just goes to show, when you can’t have something it makes you want it that much more! However, I reckon I’d be pretty bothered by some unprocessed and plant powered PB dark chocolate cup cakes like these bad boys. Chocolate PB Cup

Well it’s the done thing to develop a taste for darker chocolate as you grow older and I have definitely done this! These dark chocolate + PB cup cakes are made with raw cocoa powder, coconut oil and natural sweetener. Unadulterated dark chocolate is a pure superfood and NOT terrible for you, at all…..prayers answered. The fact that we add so much rubbish to the amazing cocoa is a darn shame because this IS bad for us but real chocolate is in no way sinful, but more a healthy indulgent treat. Chocolate seems to come arm in arm with guilt but not for me, thank goodness.

Naturally, these healthy dark chocolate salted PB cups have ‘real’ peanut butter inside, you know – the 100% peanut stuff.  I had to add s a little salt in the PB mix as I’m too in love with the sweet and salty combo. A little nutritional yeast gives the cups a more nutty Reese’s like taste and made the PB mix a little drier, perfect for implanting the dark chocolate. Very simple process!

These truly are a superfood of sorts – cocoa and coconut oil with a slab of peanut butter in the middle. Come on, these are good for you so ditch the guilt and get stuck in. Super quick to make and a pleasure to eat, heavenly really.

What was your favourite childhood chocolate bar?Chocolate PB Cups

Healthy dark chocolate + salted peanut butter cups

1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons sweetener
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast

Method:

1. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a low heat. Once melted stir through the remaining ingredients until a smooth in consistency.
2. Spoon a tablespoon of the chocolate into 8-10 silicone moulds and freeze for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile combine the peanut butter filling ingredients and set aside.
4. Remove the chocolate cups from the freezer. With a teaspoon of the peanut butter mix form a small flat disc and place on top of the set chocolate. Spoon over remaining dark chocolate and freeze until set.
5. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep in the freezer for a much longer shelf life.

The Very Healthy Cookie (GF + Vegan)

The healthiest cookie there is!I’m not just saying it, these are very healthy, incredibly so. I wouldn’t lie to you. A cookie doesn’t need to be rammed full of sugar and trans fats to taste great and ‘the very healthy cookie’ is proof of that.

A creamy oat base with vanilla undertones filled with gooey chocolate and chewy walnuts. Yeah, they’re really good.A very healthy cookie

I’m so over shop bought cookies, biscuits and cakes and the ‘extras’ they seem to come with. These ‘very healthy cookies’ are pure living proof that plant powered health food does indeed taste better than processed, manufactured sweets and even white sugar laden home baked goods. So easy to put together, literally throw it all in the bowl, mix and make balls. Cookie balls!Cookie process

I love using oat flavour for the texture, creamy taste and heart healthy benefits plus humble old oats are great for stabilising blood sugar and warding off sugar cravings. There’s a little sugar in these but levels can be altered to suit your tastes, I could have actually used a little less but its entirely dependant on how sweet your sweet tooth is. Although these look like quite a dense cookie, they’re in fact pretty light and not too crumbly to bite into with a softer rather than a crisper crumbly texture. You’re not left with a lap full of cookie crumbs after munching on these. Just the way I like ’em.

Perfect gluten free, whole food snacking.Cookies + chocolate chips

The Very Healthy Cookie (GF + Vegan)

(makes 15-20 small cookies)

140 grams oat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips (I used dairy free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons almond milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 195ºC. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the mixture, mixing thoroughly to form a workable dough. The oats will soak up much of this so add more milk if required.
3. Break small pieces off the dough and roll into balls, place on a baking tray + gently press down.
4. Bake for 10 minutes + leave to cool when removed from the oven.

Peanut Butter + Brown Rice Granola Bars (GF+ Vegan)

Granola bars + white chocolateIt’s finally happened. After all these years of hoping, praying and wishing only to be faced with the disappointment of not being quite there. But then just out of nowhere, boom (I just have to stop saying this word, I’m 32) and I’m there, success. I’ll never forget this day.

Peanut butter + brown rice granola bars of course. I’ve finally found what I’ve been hoping for. They just work for me, a granola bar that’s so crazy tasty, ridiculously healthy and holds together perfectly. Like I dropped it on the gravel and it didn’t even flinch, not even a chip on the the side. I really didn’t think it was possible but here’s a granola bar with spot on taste, a chewy texture and an impressive health rating. The other thing I like about these is they’re super good value too, often I find that granola bar recipes contain a lot of pricey superfood ingredients. These peanut butter + brown rice bars use simple, healthy, using widely available and very cheap ingredients. Each bar cost less than 25 pence which is a steal when compared to how much store bought varieties are.Granola bar process

The urge to get some white chocolate involved proved a little too much and why not because these are spectacularly good for you, too good really. They’re so tasty I had no choice but to have two with my coffee, it’s almost as if the decision was out of my control. No worries though, the recipe makes 14 good sized bars so with 10 remaining I can divide these with Russ for our weekday work snacks – 2 for him and 8 for me. Sorted!chopping

Here’s why you need these in your life:

utterly delicious
100 % whole grain
gluten free
high in B vitamins+ potassium
high in heart friendly monounsaturated fats
sweetened naturally with maple syrup
a good protein source
breakfast on the runStoring granola bars

As if you need any more convincing but what the hell we’ll go for some bonus points. These bars are extremely easy to put together, I’m talking 5 minutes and they require zero baking time. You can use the nut butter of your choice and add any of your personal granola bar favourites. These don’t need the white chocolate drizzle as such, but I just love the peanut butter and white chocolate combo so yes, I guess they do need it!

I do hope you’re having a fabulous day!A granola bar pile up

Peanut butter + brown rice granola bars

(makes 16)

1 1/2 cups brown rice cereal
1 1/4 cups gluten free oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil

chocolate drizzle:

1/4 cup dairy free white chocolate
2 tablespoons coconut oil

1. Add the brown rice cereal, oats & salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir until evenly distributed.
2. Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients to a pan & simmer over a low heat until fully combined.
3. Add the cereal mix to the pan (or the wet mix to a bowl if the pan is too small) & combine with the  wet ingredients thoroughly. Transfer to a greased 9X13″ baking pan.Press down evenly so that the mixture is compact.
4. Place in the freezer for 45-60 minutes until set. Remove & slice into 12-16 bars.
5. Melt the white chocolate & coconut oil over a low heat. Spoon this over the cereal bars & place in the freezer for 15 minutes until set. Store in an airtight container.

Nectarine + Apple Cobbler (GF)

Apple & nectarine cobblerDo you ever have random, superwoman type productive days when you get obscene amounts done? I have these, sporadically, and today was definitely one of those days. It makes me wonder where they come from, maybe the need to get a wriggle on, or something I ate, the sun shining…who knows. But today has been super productive in every way starting from wake up circuits class, delicious coconut oat breakfast with triple espresso (oh, maybe this is the reason!), the food shop, my day job and a delicious nectarine and apple cobbler which I’ve never made before.

The sun has shined all day which has made Thursday even more fabulous because whenever the sun shows up, everything and everyone cheers up and looks a little brighter. I’m lucky enough to be able to do a little of my work from home so I like to sit outside and enjoy our canal bank setting. I’m so in love with our apartment, although it’s not showy or big it’s just peaceful, calming and has a beautiful outlook. If the sun was shining a bit more then I’d have no complaints because being a complete sun head makes miserable dreary days such a drag. Today was so nice that I didn’t even want to go in and cook this delicious nectarine and apple cobbler, but in the end the temptation to try some proved too much.Apples

Traditionally, I’m pretty sure it’s peach that goes in a cobbler but I had a bowl of nectarines which were getting ripe on me so I knew my recipe had use these sweet things. Apples go pretty well with nectarines too, plus I needed something else to bulk the fruit mixture out as I like a substantial dessert. I’ve been making a lot of pies and crumbles lately so I kinda needed to do something else but it’s always a hard decision when your favourite is crumble, not that I’m fixated or anything! Eventually, I decided on a cobbler because I’d never made it before but more importantly not eaten one either. I’ve always associated cobbler with the USA, mainly because I’ve never ever heard an English person talk about the cobbler they had for pudding last night and really, it just sounds like an American dessert! Like corn bread, that screams USA to me!

Apple & nectarine cobbler

Anyway, I had a good idea of how it should be but I used an oat and almond scone base for a wheat free alternative and a nuttier and creamier flavour. Really, a cobbler is just a fruit mixture with scones on top, simple but very delicious. A word of warning: when you mix all the ingredients for the batter you have to really fight the urge to eat it raw. The smell and taste (yes, I ate a bit raw) is just too much, it’s better than cookie dough.

Apple & nectarine cobbler process

It’s the kind of dessert you want, actually need in your life because this gluten free nectarine + apple cobbler is just beautiful. The scones are light and airy with oat, almond and vanilla flavours. It’s 100% wholegrain, gluten free and each serving contains two portions of fruit with less than 300 calories a serving. This last point is impossible to believe but it’s true. I know it’s not always about the calories but sometimes it just is! For me, it’s those days when I’ve been to my Mum’s for a family lunch and I’ve eaten my own body weight in goodies. Yep, these are the days I want something a little lighter ‘cos heaven forbid I skip my dessert!

I hope you’ve had a super productive day too. I’d love to know what makes you more productive than usual?Apple & nectarine cobbler

Nectarine + apple cobbler

(serves 4)

4 nectarines, sliced
4 apples, sliced
1 teaspoon cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water
12 tablespoons stevia (adjust to sweetness preferences)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

scones:
1 cup oats (processed to flour)
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Stevia
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 ºC. Add the fruit filling ingredients to a large pan + simmer for 15-20 minutes.
2. Place the dry cobbler ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix the remaining wet ingredients and add this to the dry mixture . Be sure to combine thoroughly + set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
3. Transfer the fruit mixture to an oven proof baking dish + top with 4 heaping spoonfuls of the cobbler batter. Bake for 30 minutes.

 

Apple, Blackberry + Triple Coconut Crumble (GF + Vegan)

Apple & blackberry coconut crumbleGosh, this morning’s workout was full on, I’m aching already and it’s not even lunchtime! I’m completely addicted to circuits and now that I’ve roped Russ into partaking it’s way more fun. It’s like our own little morning work out party – except it’s just us at the party, am I sad? But it’s so much fun designing your own routine in the sadistic knowledge that you’re going to inflict it onto someone else (Russ!) and of course me! The thing is I wouldn’t workout nearly as hard if he wasn’t there kicking some butt too. Goodness knows what the neighbours must think as they pretend not to see us both jumping around in skimpy clothing first thing! Oh well, they shouldn’t be looking in! Of course we workout separately too but these living room circuits are a full on but fun way to jump start the day a couple of times a week! At this rate I reckon I could give Jillian Michaels a run for her money! Anyway, after Sunday circuits we went to Russ parents for tea and cake with the family which wasn’t too shabby either. We left with a big bag of apples. Apples galore!

Aren’t apples pretty? I seem to making a lot of ‘appley’ recipes lately and now Russ’ grandparents have just gifted us a massive bag of them from their garden, which means I’m making more apple dishes this week. It’s so sweet of them, they’re the loveliest people ever so I couldn’t let their fruit, given with such love and kindness go to any waste. The bonus is it’s still blackberry season so I took ten minutes to go pick some to jazz up my coconut extravaganza! Blackberries give a fabulous colour to any dish and they seem to be sweeter than ever this year so I’m eating my fair share.Apple & blackberry coconut crumble,

Apple crumble was my favourite pudding by miles as a kid. Actually, it still is and this didn’t disappoint at all. The crumble has the most delicious creamy coconut flavour which goes too well with the fresh apple and blackberry combo. I used coconut oil, flour and desiccated just because the urge was just too much, three forms of coconut in one dish is a rarity for me so I had to cash in. We devoured ours with cashew cream and take my word for it, this takes it to a whole new level.Very simple process

Apple, blackberry and coconut crumble (well this one anyhow!) is so good it should be bad for you, but it’s really not at all. Quite the opposite in fact, this is packed full of goodness and healthy fat from the coconut ingredients and the majority of sugar derives from the fruit. Apples too are a good source of fibre and regulate blood sugar as a result of the phytonutrients they contain. Added to this, scientists are getting quite interested in the humble apple as they seem to have some undiscovered health benefits, watch this space. For now at least, we can say this dessert regulates blood sugar, provides a steady source of energy and is packed full of heart and mind healthy coconut fats. I think I’ll be eating this for breakfast it’s that healthy.

Delicious apple & blackberry crumble

By the way I have to say once again, crumble + cashew cream = another level (the same level as heaven)! What was your favourite dessert when you were younger and is it still the same?

Crumble & cashew cream + yum,

Apple, blackberry & triple coconut crumble

(serves 4)

5 large cooking apples, cores removed & sliced roughly
1 cup water
1 tablespoon stevia (or your choice of sweetener)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup blackberries
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC.  Add apples, water, sweetener & spices to a pan and simmer over a low heat for 10-15 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl combine the flour, desiccated coconut, coconut oil & maple syrup stirring with a fork. It should resemble a crumble mixture. Adjust flour or coconut oil to achieve a crumbly texture.
3. Add the blackberries to the apples and transfer to an oven proof 10-12″ square dish. Spread the mixture out & place crumble mixture on top evenly.
4. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown & bubbling. Serve with ice cream or cashew cream!

Chocolate Coconut Cream in an Almond + Oat Crust, with a Strawberry Sauce (GF + Vegan)

Chocolate pieBirthday time! Not mine though, it’s my niece Chloe’s second birthday so me and the boy are heading over for a little party and some cake with gifts in hand. I’ve just realised not only did I miss her actual birth, I missed her first birthday too, oh the guilt! You guessed it I was outta the country, I suppose you can’t make everything all of the time especially when you can’t seem to stay still for too long! Anyway, I’m here for her second which is the main thing and armed with Peppa Pig paraphernalia and more importantly – chocolate coconut cream in an almond and oat crust. Ummmm. Oh, and the strawberry sauce of course. It’s all a bit of a mouthful, but a delicious one at that!Slice of chocolate pi

Sheer peer pressure is the reason I made this. Well maybe that’s not 100% true but there was a lot. It was my Sister and Mum, they saw this chocolate cream pie and fell in love at first sight! I kinda saw their point so I said I’d make it and what a good decision that was because it’s amazing. Of course, I wanted some for myself and of course I ate the first slice. I said I’d bring the pie to the party for communal tasting but I didn’t mention there’d be a cheeky slice missing! Ooops, I’m sure no one will notice. This may be one for the adults but we’ll see how it goes down with the kiddies, if there’s any left!An easy as pie process

Clearly, something this good just had to be inspired by the wonderful blog, ‘Oh She Glows’. The only deviation was to use 200 grams of chocolate rather than the suggested 340 as it just seemed like such a lot! Definitely a good call as the finished pie was still extremely rich and chocolatey, just perfect.Chocolate pie + strawberry sauce

I’m not a technical kinda cook, more a comfort food, make it up as you go kinda girl but this looked so good I just had to try it. I had visions of a crumbling crust and a floppy innards ‘cos for some reason I don’t trust myself with pie crusts or things that have to set. However, I’m pretty inspired because this worked out so well, the crust set perfectly with the first slice popping out with real ease. Me and my Mum had to hold back from just eating the pie crust alone the aroma was so good. Come to think of it I had to try really hard not to drink the coconut cream before filling the crust too. I’m glad I didn’t because the chocolate cream set to perfection and had the dreamiest, richest and creamiest of flavours, decadent stuff. The oat and almond crust makes this absolutely gluten free and the coconut cream, vanilla & vegan chocolate make for a simple, healthy and dairy free filling. Miles tastier than any other chocolate pie I’ve ever had and it’s 100% void of wheat and dairy – yes it is possible and here’s the proof.Chocolate pie & strawberry sauce

Although the process looks full on, it’s in fact very simple and can be whipped up in no time. 15 minutes baking, 2 hours in a freezer and you’re done, just don’t forget to take it out! I had no problem here, I couldn’t get the thought of eating this chocolate coconut pie outta my head let alone forget about it!A slice of pie

Chocolate coconut cream pie

(12 slices)

crust:
3/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup oats

coconut filling:
1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight
200 grams dairy free milk/dark chocolate, broken
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

strawberry compote:
500 grams strawberries
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons maple syrup
i teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven to 175 ºC + grease a 12′ pie dish. Place almonds in a blender & pulse to a bread crumb texture. Add the remaining crust ingredients (apart from whole oats) & pulse until a dough forms. Now add the oats & pulse so that the oats are fine but retain some texture. The dough should stick together when squeezed between your fingers. Process for longer if this is not the case.

Sprinkle the crust mix into the pie dish evenly. Starting from the middle, push down firmly with your fingers until the pie crust is compact. The more compact, the better.Prick with a fork 5 times & bake for 15 minutes. Remove after baking & allow to cool.

To make the sauce, mix the cornstarch with some water to form a paste & place in a small pan. Add the remaining sauce ingredients & simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the coconut cream from the can taking care to separate the cream from the water. Add cream & chocolate to a pan over a low heat, stir until nearly dissolved. Take off the heat & pour into the pie crust. Transfer to the freezer for 2 hours or until set. Keep chilled & serve with the compote. Pie can be frozen for up to a week.Enjoy.

 

 

Grain Free Coconut, Apple + Cinnamon Muffins – GF + Paleo

DSC_6649Panic over! I thought I’d run out of coconut flour but  I managed to scoop just enough out (just) to make these amazing muffins. Yes, they really are amazing because they’re grain free and low sugar but taste delicious! Of course I was too happy to make a muffin with all three of my favourite ingredients – obviously coconut flour was involved but so were my over lovers, cinnamon and apple. I just love these two together, what legends.A lot of eggs!

That’s exactly what I thought too: such a lot of eggs! The thing is coconut flour isn’t like those other grains, it sucks up any fluid put it’s way and these eggs help to bind the mixture which creates a moist yet low carb muffin. The apple and cinnamon just transport these to another level for me and the honey adds just the right sweetness. I’ve been eating them all week and they are goooood, just sweet enough, deliciously spiced with cinnamon, nicely light but still moist with apple and raisins.A lot of muffins!

What’s more is they’re wholesome, natural with endless selling points: grain free, low carb, high in medium chain fatty acids (they’re good fats and the ones the body doesn’t readily store but would rather use as energy), blood sugar regulating, fibre rich and a protein kick to boot. Are you’re sold yet? These didn’t last long because they’re the perfect snack and tick off all of the criteria from my snack wish list: easy to transport, delicious, healthy, low carb/high fat, contains at least one form of coconut, cinnamon friendly and a provider steady energy. Job done.A ray of sunshine!

These light and tasty treats are perfect with an afternoon cup of tea. They’re healthy enough to go with breakfast too, really they’re just screaming out ‘healthy snack’ for any time of the day!

What’s your ideal afternoon snack?Deliciously moist coconut muffin

Grain free coconut, apple + cinnamon muffins

(makes 10-12)

5 eggs
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 apple, grated
1/4 cup nut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
handful raisins
1 tablespoon honey

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 ºC. In a mixing bowl, whisk (or blend) all the ingredients (apart from raisins) thoroughly ensuring a smooth batter.
2. Fold through the raisins & allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Line a muffin tray with paper cases & spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each case.
3. Bake for 15 minutes until the muffins are brown & not too soft to touch.
4. Leave to cool before removing & storing.

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