Coconut Ice

 

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With the silly season just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to share a recipe that is delicious, easy to make, and can be taken to upcoming summer BBQ’s and parties.  I wanted to make a healthier version of the classic coconut ice recipe by replacing the original recipes refined sugar with coconut sugar and red food colouring with beetroot juice. The beetroot juice gives the slice a beautiful, vibrant pink colour.
This is a chewy treat that is quick to make and super moreish. It is perfect for a sweet afternoon treat served with a herbal tea or wrapped up as a Christmas gift.

* Vegan
* Raw
* Gluten Free
* Dairy Free

Ingredients

4 cups of desiccated coconut
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
1 small beetroot or 1 tsp of beetroot powder
400 grams of coconut milk
3/4 cup of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

Method

1. In a sauce pan, mix the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut sugar on a low heat. Combine ingredients until the coconut oil has melted. Take off heat and mix in the desiccated coconut.

2. Line a shallow baking tray or baking tin with baking paper. Halve the mixture, and press half of it into the baking tray. Place in freezer.

3. Prepare your juicer and juice the beetroot. Add 2 tablespoons of the juice to the remainder of the mixture, combine well.

Note: If you do not have a juicer, slice up the beetroot and boil in a pot for 5 minutes.  Add 3 tablespoons of the water to the remainder of the mixture.  The water would have turned red from the beetroot, making the mixture a pink colour.

4. Add the pink mixture to the base and press it in well. Place the coconut ice into the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.

5. Cut the coconut ice into squares and store in the fridge. It will melt if it is kept in room temperature for too long.

Enjoy! L x


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Cookie Dough Truffles

These cookie dough truffles are the perfect little snack to have when on the go.  I usually make a batch of these on a Sunday night to keep in the fridge to have for the following week. Whenever I feel like a sweet treat I will have one.

There are only 5 ingredients needed to make these and they take around 5 minutes to make.

* Raw
* Vegan
* Gluten free
* Refined sugar free

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Ingredients

1.5 cups of raw cashew nuts
1.5 cups of pitted dates
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon of coconut oil (melted)
1/3 cup cacao nibs

Directions

1. Place the cashews, dates, desiccated coconut, coconut oil and cacao nibs in a food processor and blend well.
2. Take mixture out of the food processor and place into a bowl.
3. Separate the mixture and roll into small balls. Repeat until all the mixture is used.

This recipe makes approximately 10 truffles.

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Enjoy. L x

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Basil Pesto

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When hosting a dinner party I can take some time to cook so always make sure there are snacks for guests.  One thing I love to make is home made basil pesto – it goes well with crackers, cut up raw vegetables and corn chips.  This basil pesto is gluten free, dairy free and vegan so suits most people (sorry, it does contain nuts).

Supermarket pestos are often expensive and contain milk, cheese, sulphites, rennet and some even artificial colours.  Most of the oils used in supermarket pestos are vegetable oils, this can either be canola oil which is a big no no as majority of the worlds canola oil is GMO.  Other oil used can be palm oil, again a big no no due to the terrible destruction of rain forests and deaths of precious Orangutans.   To avoid any confusion as to if your pesto is sustainable, GMO free and dairy free it is best to make your own.  This literally takes five minutes including preparation and can be made in a food processor or blender.

Instead of using costly pine nuts I use raw cashews.  You can also use half cashew and half walnut, depending on what you have at home.  The recipe calls for 3 cups of basil leaves, I didn’t have quite that much so my pesto is quite light green.

Ingredients: 

3 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup macadamia oil (I use Brookfarm)
1 cup raw cashew nuts (you can also use 1/2 cup walnuts 1/2 cup cashews)
2 gloves of garlic
juice of one lemon
pinch of himalayan salt

Method:

Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender.  Start with putting the oil in first and the basil in last.  Blend until all ingredients are mixed well and deepening on if you like textured pesto or not stop blending when the cashews get to fine pieces.  Store the pesto in an airtight jar in the fridge.  Will keep for approximately a week.

* pesto can be frozen and used at a later date.

Jx

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Banoffee Pie

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Calling all Banoffee Pie fans out there, this recipe is truly divine. The combination of dried nuts, dates, banana, avocado, cacao and peanut butter make a beautiful guilt free dessert. The traditional banoffee pie is full of refined sugar and contains dairy, this recipe is refined sugar free, gluten free and vegan.
This banoffee pie is creamy and chocolatey and has a hint of peanut butter.

This indulgent recipe is perfect for a dinner party.

Make this pie using a 20cm pie dish or alternatively you can use mini cake trays.

Ingredients

Base

1 cup of  walnuts or raw cashew nuts
1 cup of raw almonds
1.5 cups of pitted dates
1/4 cup of cacao nibs (optional)

Filling

2 bananas
1 avocado
1/4 cup of raw cacao powder
1/2 cup of cacao nibs (optional)
1/4 cup of raw maple syrup or 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
1 cup of peanut butter

Topping

2x 400g cans of coconut milk. (These need to be kept in the fridge overnight, a layer of cream will form on top. This is used for the top layer of the pie.)
1 banana

Method

1. In a food processor blend the base ingredients until they are blended finely. Press into a pie dish and make sure the crust is 0.5 cm’s thick so it doesn’t crack when taken out of the dish. Place in the freezer.
2. Blend all the filling ingredients together until smooth. Place onto the base of the pie and then set in freezer for 10 minutes.
3. To make the topping, spread coconut milk over the pie (the coconut milk fat should have formed at the top of the can overnight). Slice up one banana and place on top of pie. Sprinkle with cacao powder and place in the freezer for an hour before serving.

L x

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Raw Chocolate Mousse Tarts

These tarts are such a beautiful desert and can be served to anyone who is vegan, dairy free, gluten free or refined sugar free.  They are best stored in the freezer so that the mousse filling is nice and hard.  I topped mine with flaked almonds and a bit of coconut but anything can be used.  Fresh fruit, cacao nibs or bickinis would also be delicious.

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Ingredients:

For the base –
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 tsp coconut sugar
125 grams almond meal
1/4 – 1/3 cup water
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Mousse filling –
2 frozen bananas
1 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup raw maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 desert spoons of raw cacao powder
1 tsp coconut sugar

You will need a cup cake tray and some cup cake patties.  This recipe makes approximately 10 tarts.

 

 Method:

1. Melt coconut oil in a pot on a very low heat.  Set aside.  Mix together almond meal, desiccated coconut, coconut sugar, water.  Add coconut oil once cool and make sure all of the ingredients are combined.
2.  Get cup cake patties and put into cup cake tray.  Add spoon fills of the base mixture to all of the paper patties covering the patty completely.  If your mixture is too wet and wont stick to the patties add some more coconut or almond meal and if it is too dry add some more coconut oil.  You want there to be enough room so that you can spoon in the mousse mixture so don’t make the base too thick.  Once this is done put the tart bases into the freezer.
3.  Now it is time to make the mousse.  Again melt coconut oil on a low heat in a pot.  Set aside once done.
4. Add frozen banana, coconut cream, raw maple , raw cacao and coconut sugar into a blender.  When the coconut oil is cool add this too.  Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.  The mixture should be a creamy texture similar to a thick shake.
5.  Take the tart bases out of the freezer and spoon the mousse mixture into the bases.  Add any toppings you wish then put into the freezer.  These will only take an hour or so to set. When you are ready to serve take the tarts out of the cupcake patties.

Enjoy! Jx

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The importance of Whole foods.

As people’s waistlines increase, and the rate of type two diabetes and obesity soars in New Zealand, it is time we as a nation start looking at what we are eating.   There are around 200,000 New Zealanders that have type two diabetes and 18.6% of us have pre-diabetes which in many cases leads to type 2 diabetes.  There are also a number of other diet related illnesses that are in the incline and that comes as no surprise when the number of pre packaged and processed foods on our supermarket shelves are increasing.

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‘Processed’ is becoming one of the frowned upon words when it comes to diet.  The rise of consumers who want to eat locally grown, organic, real food is beginning to thrive.  Eating a clean diet full of whole foods has become a mantra for many of us.  There has been a spike in the amount of people adapting to the Paleolithic diet, which is based around eating whole foods. Have you been on Instagram lately? My news feed is a wash with photos of peoples food adorned with “clean eating” hash tags. It is now trendy to “eat clean” and lets hope this current trend does not go away any time soon as it is a fantastic way to eat and one of the ways that we can combat diet related illnesses.

So what are whole foods? Whole foods are natural, unrefined and unprocessed. When a food is in its natural state it provides essential nutrients that the body needs to function optimally.  Whole foods contain beneficial enzymes and nutrients that nourish the body from the inside out.  Whole foods have high amounts of important nutrients and many of them are low in calories.  Foods that contain all the essential vitamins and minerals have been proven to prevent cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancers, skin issues, diabetes and obesity.They are foods given to us in nature, that haven’t been tampered with in a factory and then stuffed inside a cardboard box.

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Foods that have been canned, processed with artificial colors, preservatives, additives and flavors and that are genetically altered (GMO) are not recommended, as they will do more harm in the body then good.  Generally New Zealanders eat a large amount of pre made meals and packaged foods.  People are eating whole grains that come from instant rice, boxed cereals, refined white breads and pastas. All these foods contain little nutrients and are simply empty calories.

Eating highly processed foods can artificially stimulate dopamine (the pleasure neurotransmitter), which plays a role in addiction.  You are eating foods that contain no nutrients but they will create a pleasurable feeling.  Then a food addiction will start because you feel good when you are eating these foods.

Processed food is usually stripped of its fiber.  Fiber lowers cholesterol levels, regulates bowel movements, slows down the absorption of sugar and regulates blood sugar levels and promotes weight loss.  What’s not to love about that?

Potato chips, muesli bars, packaged cereals (you’ve probably guessed by now we hate them!), processed meats and biscuits start out as whole foods but then have dozens of synthetic chemicals, additives and preservatives added into them to increase shelf life, enhance appearance and flavour.  Try eating a baked potato over potato chips, whole grains over boxed cereals, nuts and seeds over a muesli bar and fresh fruit over sugar laden canned fruit.  Read food labels; if you can’t pronounce the ingredients then stay away.

Our body is an incredible organism, constantly repairing itself, filtering out toxins and supplying us with energy.  It works 24/7 so we need to respect it and nourish our temple with the right food.

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Our body contains over one hundred trillion cells, each cells converts the nutrients from food we eat into to the energy we need in order to function and survive.  Because of this we need to be fueling ourselves with the right nutrients, our bodies depend on it.  Good nutrition is fundamental to our very existence. 

The key to optimal health is to feed and nourish our bodies with the necessary nutrients to achieve what they were designed to do.

By adapting to a whole foods diet you are able to get all of your required vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat.  Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean meats, fish, and healthy fats and oils to form the basis of a healthy diet.  Cook from scratch.  This means taking basic foods in their natural form and making them into wholesome, tasty, nourishing dishes. Next time you are at the supermarket ditch the biscuit isle, your body will thank you for it.

As the great Author Michael Pollan says, “Don’t eat anything incapable of rotting”.

J&L xx

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Nut free Bliss Balls

Nut free Bliss Balls

These bliss balls are the perfect treat for people who cannot eat nuts. They are nut-free, dairy-free (if you use cacao nibs), raw, vegan and pack a nutritious little energy hit.

This recipe is perfect for children with allergies which means you can send them along to school with a healthy and nourishing lunchbox treat.

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Ingredients

1 cup of dates
1 cup of desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons of cacao
1/4 cup of cacao nibs (can use chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
Rind from 2 oranges
Juice from 2 oranges
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut (for rolling the bliss balls in)

Method

Throw all the ingredients, apart from the extra desiccated coconut into the blender or food processor and process until the dates are fully combined. If the mixture is too dry you can add some water to ensure all the ingredients blend well.
Roll into balls and sprinkle with the remaining desiccated coconut. Freeze for an hour before serving.

L x

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Lemon and Coconut Slice

Lemon and Coconut slice

This is a recipe for vegan, lemon and coconut slice.  The slice is nut free and refined sugar free, making it the perfect guilt free dessert or snack. The topping tastes beautiful, sweet and creamy and it has a burst of citrus.  This slice is so delicious and satisfying, you would never know its sugar free.
I have made this slice twice and I usually double the recipe as it gets eaten so fast! The slice can be kept in the fridge for around a week.

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Ingredients:

Base:

3/4 cup oats (or buckwheat groats if you want it gluten-free)
1 cup pitted dates
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons of organic vanilla essence
2 tablespoons of coconut sugar (optional)

Top layer:
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup raw maple syrup
Juice from 4 lemons
½ cup desiccated coconut
2 bananas

Directions:

In a food processor add the oats or buckwheat groats, coconut, dates and vanilla. Blend all the ingredients together until the mixture it has a sticky, paste like consistency.  Press into the bottom of a square-baking pan and put in the fridge.
To make the top layer blend all the ingredients until smooth. Taste the mixture and add more lemon juice or maple syrup if needed.  Spread the mixture on top of the base and sprinkle some more desiccated coconut over the top layer.  Place in the fridge overnight or until set.

L x

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Chocolate Bounty Balls

These taste just as good as real bounty bars, like the ones I used to eat when I was little; except these are not full of preservatives or refined sugar.

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Ingredients:

For the filling –

1/4 cup coconut cream
1 Tablespoon of raw organic maple syrup
1/2 cup cashews
1 1/3 cups of desiccated coconut (shredded also works)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil

For the outside coating –

1 Tablespoon of raw organic maple syrup
2 Tablespoons cacao powder
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Method:

1: Place coconut cream, maple syrup, cashews, coconut and coconut oil in a blender or food processor.  Blend until ingredients are combined.  They will be a paste like consistency (similar to hummus), when this happens you can remove from the blender.
2: Roll the coconut mixture into balls and place into the freezer on a lined baking tray.  The mixture should make 12 – 15 balls.

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Off to the freezer…

3: Time to make the chocolate coating.  If your coconut oil isn’t warm enough to be in its liquid state then melt it under the tap in its jar with hot water or place into a small pan and melt.  Once done let it cool for a minute or two and combine with cacao powder and maple syrup.

4: Take the balls out of the freezer; if they are hard dip into the chocolate mixture and place back onto the baking paper.  Repeat with all of the balls.  Place into the freezer.

5: Repeat step 4 again so that the chocolate mixture is thick.  The second time you have dipped the balls into chocolate roll in some desiccated coconut.  Place back onto lined baking tray and let the balls set.  Once hard remove and store in a container in the freezer.

Enjoy! Jx

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Raspberry Tart

Thank you to our friend Freo Nutrition for the recipe.

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Base Ingredients:                Filling Ingredients:

¼ c sunflower seeds              200g cashews
¼ c pumpkin seeds               100g young coconut flesh
½ c almonds                         50g water
½ c desiccated coconut         50g lemon/lime juice
¼ c tahini                             100g raw honey or maple syrup (use maple to keep this vegan)
¼ c sesame seeds                Pinch sea salt
1 T water                               ½ t vanilla bean
6 dried apricots                     180g coconut oil melted
Zest of 1 lime                        300g of raspberries (if frozen use defrosted)

Method:

Base: Chop apricots finely then add to the blender and process with all other base ingredients.  The mixture should stick together when pressed with hands.  Press into 20 – 25 cm springform tin and place in fridge until filling is prepared.

Filling: Grind the cashews in a coffee grinder or high speed blender until they form a fine powder.  Blend all of the filling ingredients except the coconut oil until very smooth – being careful not to let it heat up.  Slowly pour in the coconut oil with the blender going until completely combined into the mixture.  Pour into the tart tin and put in the freezer for approx. 1hr.

Base adapted from The Real Food Chef, Filling adapted from Little Bird Organics.

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