Creamy Chocolate Mousse

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Lib and I first made this recipe a few years ago with the inclusion of peanut butter.  It’s hard to believe that the main ingredient is avocado! The mousse is a perfect substitute for traditional dairy mousse, it is so creamy, thick and rich in chocolate flavour.  A great topping for cakes instead of frosting, spoon onto slices of banana or have by itself after dinner.

This recipe we have not used a lot of cacao as it can be quite biter and everyone has a different taste preference, so adjust with extra rice malt (any liquid sweeter will do) or add extra cacao if you like its strong taste.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados
½ cup coconut cream
¼ cup cacao powder
¼ cup rice malt syrup
1 pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Serve straight away or store in a refrigerator for an hour before serving if you want it extra thick. Store mousse in an airtight container in the fridge.

Jx

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Apple and Elderflower Iced Tea

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Apple and Elderflower Iced Tea

Iced tea has proven to be one of the healthiest drinks available. Not only does it revive you on a hot day, but also adds nutrients to keep you healthy.

Improving health is a multifaceted process. Many of us are already aware of the steps which one needs to take to maintain a healthy life like quit smoking, keeping a check on the level of alcohol consumed, avoiding fried food, and including a lot of fruits and veggies in our everyday diet.

But most of us did not know the fact that drinking a glass of iced tea during the day can take care of most of our problems. Iced tea is rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that keep a check on calories consumed during the day. Not only does it refresh your mind but also improves your health, especially if you are addicted to soda then it is time to change to a healthy cup of iced tea.

If you are into caffeine consumption, a glass of iced tea can balance that out. Not only will it cut down on the consumption of caffeine but will help you get rid of the habit of drinking coffee.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to talk at Red Seal’s launch of their new tea range. At the launch I spoke about the benefits of tea and also created two delicious iced tea recipes. Red Seal is a New Zealand owned and operated company, well known for their natural products including supplements, toothpastes and teas.

As a herbal tea addict I was so excited to try the new tea flavours which use ingredients such as hibiscus, rose hips, blackberry leaves, elderflowers and orange peel. The teas contain no artificial sweeteners, gluten or caffeine.

A great idea is to make a big jug of iced tea and to keep it in your fridge. Also filling your drink bottle up with iced tea and sipping on it throughout the day is going to provide you with many nutrients.  This recipe is so delicious and great to have if you are wanting to cut down on caffeine, alcohol and soda drink consumption.

Ingredients:
5 Red Seal Apple & Elderflower tea bags
4 cups of sparkling water
1 cup of boiling water
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
3 tablespoons of agave nectar
The juice of one large granny smith apple
Ice cubes for serving
Optional garnish: Mint sprigs and lemon slices

Brewing directions:
1. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the tea bags, into a 2 litre container
2. Steep for 5 minutes and then fill the container with 4 cups of sparkling water. Steep for another 5 minutes and then remove the tea bags.
3. Place the grated ginger, agave nectar and apple juice into the container and stir well.
4. Pour the tea into glasses and add ice before serving.

L x

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Coconut Dream Pie

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You don’t need to be a trend spotter to know coconuts are so hot right now.  We love using coconuts, whether it is Coconut Water or cooking with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

Our appetite for nut and plant milks is on the up and we have a new “nut” on the block.  Move over almond milk! Vitasoy is one of the first major companies to bring Coconut Milk to Australian & New Zealand food lovers keen to try out new flavours.  This excites me as I love coconut anything so now that I have the option of using Vitasoy’s Coconut Milk in smoothies, chia seed puddings and in vegan treat making this my new pantry staple.

Why coconut milk?  Vitasoy’s Coconut Milk is made from real coconut cream.  It is low in sugar and has at least 1/3 less calories than lite milk*, contains the goodness of calcium and it’s naturally lactose and dairy free with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives

Oh yes, we also love banana, so what better treat to make with my new find than a Banana Coconut Dream Pie.  This recipe was given to me from a friend and she swaps the banana for mango, when they are in season so a few variations of this could be made, keeping coconut as the base.

This pie is naturally gluten free, dairy free, vegan and cane sugar free. The walnuts in the crust provide plenty of good fats and protein for a delicious dessert.

Ingredients

Crust:

2 cups walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
10 medjool dates.  Remove pips and cut into pieces.

In a powerful blender or food processor blend the walnuts and shredded coconut until the walnuts nuts crumbly. Add the dates and process a little more until the mixture begins to stick together. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9″spring form pan and set aside.

Filling:
1 1/2 cup cashews (soak overnight to make them easier to blend)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
5 medjool dates.  Remove pips and cut into pieces.
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 bananas.  Use one for filling mixture and one to be sliced.
1 cup Vitasoy Coconut Milk Unsweetened
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Blend, everything except 1 of the bananas until smooth in the blender. Spread the sliced banana on the bottom of the crust.  Pour the pie filling into the pie crust until it is filled. Place into the fridge and allow to set overnight.

Whipped cream topping:
2 cups of coconut cream
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp Rice Malt Syrup (any liquid sweetener will work)
Juice of ½ squeezed lemon

Blend until smooth. Allow to set up in the refrigerator until it has the consistency of whipped cream.  Spoon on to the top of the pie before serving.  Sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

Jx

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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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Organic Protein Powder

Organic Protein Powder by 180 Nutrition

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Finding a high quality protein powder can be hard.  The market is saturated with powders that are full of artificial flavourings and preservatives, processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, soy, gluten and not to mention fillers.  It is surprising to see how many people choose to eat optimally but use a poor quality protein powder that contradicts their healthy diet.

Beginning the day off with a breakfast rich in protein improves appetite control, regulates blood sugar levels and reduces unhealthy snacking throughout the day.  I usually begin my day off with a smoothie and I love adding protein powder to it.  A friend recommended 180 Nutrition, an Australian based brand that is new to the NZ market.
Guy Lawrence and Stuart Cooke are the founders of 180 Nutrition.  Guy, a fitness trainer created this brand after researching protein powders on the market that his chronically ill patients could use.  He was shocked to discover the amount of chemicals and fillers were in the protein powders that were on the market so he decided to create a formula using organic, raw and natural ingredients.

180 Nutrition make a pea protein and also organic whey (NZ sourced whey).  I have been using their products for the last few weeks and what I love about 180 Nutrition that makes it different from the rest is their ingredient formula.

The ingredients include:

Flaxseed
Almond Meal
Sunflowers kernels
Coconut flour
Shredded coconut
Cocoa
Peptia (Pumpkin seeds)
Sesame seeds
Chia seeds
Psyllium husks
Inactive brewers yeast
Stevia

In the morning, after a workout or if I want a snack I’ll blend up a smoothie using 180 Coconut flavored Pea protein powder (my favorite flavor), berries, coconut milk and a dollop of Greek yogurt.  There is no need to add any other ingredients as this protein powder already contains a super food blend.  There is also a chocolate flavored protein available.

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What I also love about this product is that it is vegan friendly, tastes great, mixes well and can be used in baking.  I always add a scoop when making my dairy free, yonana ice cream or protein muffins.

For more information on this product check out the 180 Nutrition website for recipes using this protein, including dairy free coconut ice-cream, paleo friendly raw cheesecake, quinoa chocolate loaf and carrot cake and cream cheese muffins. YUM! You can also read some of the testimonials, some of the athletes that use this protein, and browse the online store.  There are also superfood bars and kids snacks that are tasty and made with real ingredients.

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We have a discount code for anyone wanting to purchase 180 protein when you buy online.  Enter ‘JULLIB’ for 10% off all purchases at primal-life.co.nz.  Check out our Facebook page for a giveaway we are running for your chance to win a sample of this protein.

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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Cauliflower Pizza Base

 

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A few months ago I posted a recipe for a gluten free pizza base which is a staple in my household. After making this pizza almost every week I thought it was time to try a new recipe.

I have been experimenting with this cauliflower pizza base, which needed to be altered a few times before sharing but I have finally perfected it.
If you are like me and love the taste of pizza but struggle to enjoy it due to the additives, gluten and heavy dough causing havoc in your body then this healthy twist will go down a treat.

The sesame seeds give it a crunchy and chewy texture and the garlic and pesto add a flavorsome kick.  The cauliflower is hard to taste in this pizza base which makes it a great option for fussy children who do not like the taste of vegetables.

Get creative with your pizza toppings. I used pesto, sun dried tomato’s, fresh basil leaves, mozzarella and seaweed flakes.

This base is:
* Gluten Free
* Dairy Free
* Vegetarian

Base ingredients:

1 medium sized cauliflower
2 organic eggs
¼ cup of sesame seeds or linseeds
2 tablespoons of gluten free flour
¼ cup of pesto (I used another ¼ cup for the topping)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
Salt + Pepper

Method:

1. Pre heat the oven to 180C.
2. Wash the cauliflower and cut into cubes. Place into a food processor and blend the cauliflower until it is pureed.
3. Place the cauliflower into a tea towel or milk bag and over the sink squeeze all the water out, put aside.
4. In a bowl add the remainder of the ingredients and combine well.
5. Re squeeze the cauliflower to get any more excess water out and then add to the mixture making sure it is well combined.
6. On a piece of baking paper spread the dough out into an even circle. Try to keep the dough around 1.5 cm’s thick to avoid it from cracking once cooked.
7. Bake the base for 15 minutes and then add the topping of your choice. Place back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until topping is done.
8. Let the pizza cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy! L x

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Fruit Whip featuring Yonanas machine

After hearing lots of talk about a Yonana machine I decided to purchase one and have to say I’m pretty happy I did.

For anyone who is unsure of what a Yonana is, it is a machine that makes it possible for vegans, any one who is dairy free or lactose intolerant and those of us who are more health conscious to enjoy frozen desserts similar to ice cream/sorbet/frozen yoghurt.  All you need is frozen fruit as a base, along with your favourite topping, mine is dark chocolate and pistachios.  Other fruits that process well through this machine are frozen berries, peaches, apricots, mangoes apples and cranberries.

This is an excellent way to make healthy treats for your family, especially children as they are able to help – the machine is that simple.  In my opinion it tastes a lot better than  processed ice cream and it’s guilt free.

For more information and other recipes check out the Yonana website.

*Gluten Free
*Dairy Free
*Refined Sugar Free

Ingredients       Serves 4
3 frozen bananas- remove the peel before freezing
2 frozen mangos
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
1/4 cup of cacao nibs
1/4 cup of pistachio nuts – shells removed

Method

1. Place the frozen bananas and frozen mango through the Yonana.
2. Sprinkle with almonds, cacao nibs and pistachio nuts. I separated the mango and the banana but they taste delicious mixed together.

Enjoy! J&L xx

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Gourmet Banana Pops

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During Summer there is nothing better then enjoying a frozen treat on a hot day and even better if it is guilt free.  These banana pops are super easy to put together and a great recipe to make with little ones to teach them that you can have healthy frozen treats (see you later super market ice cream on a stick!).

If you want to keep these dairy free and low in sugar make the banana pops with our vegan chocolate dip recipe.  If you prefer to keep it simple and low prep buy some dark chocolate and melt to use as the chocolate coating.  We used 70% cocoa dark chocolate and also white chocolate as we ran out of cacao powder.  The topping over the chocolate is made from nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  It looks beautiful and adds a yummy crunch which is a great contrast to the gooey banana.

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Makes 8/10 banana pops (depending on how generous you are with the chocolate dip/nut topping)

Ingredients: 

4 or 5 bananas – chop in half and cut off the sides to make into more of a square shape (see pic down the bottom).
8x sticks (use something stronger then a tooth pick as the bananas can be quite heavy and will slide off a tooth pick)

Vegan Chocolate dip:

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut nectar (or any other sugar free sweetener eg raw maple syrup)

Nut topping:
choose any of the following and have 1 cup worth. 

Dried cranberries
Almond flakes
Walnuts
Macadamia nuts
Hazelnuts
Pumpkin seeds
Gogi berries
Cashews

Method: 

1. Cut bananas in half and skewer with a wooden stick.  Place bananas onto non stick paper on a baking tray and put into the freezer.
2. Place dried fruit, nuts and seeds into a blender or food processor and gently pulse until they are into smaller pieces.  Place into a bowl.
3. If you are making the vegan chocolate dip gently melt coconut oil in a pan over a low heat on stove top, take off heat and stir in cacao powder and the sweetener.  Put the chocolate dip onto a plate so it makes it easy to roll the bananas in.
4. Take bananas out of the freezer – roll each banana in the chocolate dip and place back on baking tray.  Sprinkle with the nut topping.  Repeat with each banana and then place back into the freezer until chocolate has hardened.

These can be stored in the freezer or fridge.  I kept mine in the freezer for a few hours and then moved into the fridge as I didn’t want the bananas to be rock hard.

Enjoy! Jx

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Broccoli, Feta and Pine Nut Fritters

Broccoli is a favourite staple in my house.  I am always trying to find new ways to include it in my diet as it is a powerful superfood with high nutritional value. These fritters are the perfect way to enjoy broccoli even for non broccoli fans.
The fritters are creamy and soft on the inside and the toasted pine nuts give them a beautiful crunchy texture.

Like most fritters they taste best straight out of the frying pan. I drizzled these fritters with lemon juice and served them with grilled salmon and a leafy green salad, a perfect combination.

Enjoy these as a snack or include with your dinner for a meat free, high protein and high fibre meal.

Gluten free*

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Ingredients (makes 8 fritters)

1 medium sized broccoli
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 eggs
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
150 grams of gluten free flour or buckwheat flour (put an extra 50 grams aside incase mixture is too wet)
80 grams of feta cheese
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Dash of oil

Method

1. Chop up the broccoli finely and steam for 5 minutes.
2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the flour, garlic, salt and pepper and parsley.
3. Chop up the feta cheese into small cubes and place into the mixture.
4. Place the pine nuts in a fry pan on a low heat and gently roast for 4-7 minutes or until pine nuts are slightly golden. Once cooked add them to the mixture.
5. Before adding the broccoli into the mixture make sure it is finely sliced.  I found that I needed to add an extra 50 grams of flour to the mixture as it was too wet.
6. Heat a large frying pan over moderate heat and add a dash of oil.
7. Scoop 1 large tablespoon of mixture into the frying pan, then flatten it slightly with a spatula. The mixture should make around 8 fritters. Cook the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden.
8. Place fritters onto a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
9. Drizzle with lemon juice before serving. Enjoy!

L x

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