Salt and Spice and all things nice! The smallest pumpkin in the world and a yummy pumpkin seed snack!

Well, when I asked for a small pumpkin I wasn’t expecting something quite as small as this….

But anyone who knows me knows I love a challenge so not to be thwarted I decided I’d do my best with this little munchkin of a pumpkin and lo and behold look what I managed to create! Scary eh?

So there wasn’t much meat in this little pumpkin so rather than create the pumpkin-based hallowe’en cake I had planned I decided instead to do something funky with the seeds. It’s a sweet salty treat which sounds odd but combines some wonderful autumn flavours. I adapted it from the SNOG healthy treats book.

Salty and Spicey Sweet potato, raisin, pumpkin seed yumminess!

So I started off by creating some salted roasted seeds. Take your pumpkin seeds, remove all the stringy bits of pumpkin flesh and put in a pan. For every half cup of pumpkin seeds add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly.

Then spread them out in one layer on a baking tray and place in an oven at 200 degrees C for anything from 5 – 15 minutes. Just keep checking them as it will depend how big the seeds are. Mine took around 8 minutes 🙂

These are yummy as they are or you can hull (de-husk) them if you really want to (I couldn’t be bothered!). Eat them just like this or use them in the next bit of the recipe.

Take 1 sweet potato and cut it into 1cm cubes. Spread on a baking tray with 2 – 3 tablespoons of the salted roasted pumpkin seeds. Add a handful of raisins and then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of coconut palm sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Finally drizzle over some coconut oil (approx 2 tablespoons) and place in the oven at 190 degrees C for about 20 – 25 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked through and the sugar is caramelised. Stir occasionally.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then enjoy on it’s own or spoon it over some natural yoghurt (or ice cream!). It sounds odd but trust me – the sweetness of the sweet potato and raisins go really well with the salty roasted seeds and the cinnamon adds a lovely autumnal twist! Divine and healthy too! 🙂

Happy Hallowe’en!


Chocolate hazelnut Biscotti – Dairy Free, Gluten Free and yet more chocolate!

As the end of chocolate week draws near I thought I’d finish with this little recipe which is another I’ve had for a while and not got round to posting. These do require double baking but it’s less of a faff than you think – honest! and it’s very much worth it!  I guarantee you won’t be able to tell these apart from “normal” (gluten filled, dairy filled) chocolate biscotti and they’re perfect with a cup of coffee over the weekend 🙂

I hope you enjoy it and do let me know if you try out this recipe and what you think of it (that goes for all my recipes!).

1/3 cup Almond milk
2 tbsp Ground linseed
3/4 cup and 2 tbsp Raw unrefined coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup Almond or Hazelnut oil
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Almond extract
1 and 1/4 cups Spelt flour (wholewheat or white) or Gluten free flour blend
1/2 cup Quinoa flour (if you don’t have this add more spelt flour)
1/3 cup Raw cocoa Powder
2 tbsp Arrowroot powder or Cornflour (also known as cornstarch in the US)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
1 cup Whole, Raw Hazelnuts (these can be toasted first if you want really crunchy nuts!)

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and grease a large baking tray very well.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and ground linseed for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, oil and extracts and stir until smooth. Sieve in the flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot or cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Stir to mix and just as the dough starts to come together, knead in hazelnuts. Knead very briefly to form a stiff dough.

Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and form it into a rectangle (approx 12 inches long and 3 – 4 inches wide). Push in the nuts if they pop out! Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. It will rise and get a bit puffy and the top may start to crackle. Keep an eye on it from 20 minutes onwards as it can start to burn. Obviously remove if it starts to burn (this can be hard to see because of the chocolate colour so give it a good sniff if in doubt!) 🙂

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes until very firm.

Turn up the oven to 375F/190C. Carefully transfer the baked dough to chopping board and using a serrated knife, slice 1/2 inch slices. Push the knife down in one go, don’t use a sawing action as you will find the biscotti crumble. They are extremely delicate at this stage so you need to be gentle. I ended up with a fair bit of crumbling and breakage but that’s not the end of the world, it just meant I had lots of bits to taste! 🙂

Place the slices on the baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes until brown and crispy. Don’t be tempted to over bake – they will still seem quite soft when you remove them from the oven but they will crisp up as they cool – I promise (Trust me, I’m a Dr 😉 ). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring the slices to a cooling rack. When completely cool, store in an air tight container and enjoy with a cup of your favourite coffee 🙂

Spicy chocolate chewy cookies – dairy free, gluten free goodness

It’s grey and windy here in the UK at the moment (well it is where I live!) so it just makes me want to have lots of warming, spicy foods and we all know how well chilli and chocolate go together so I thought it was time I wheeled out this recipe. I actually made these ages ago but just never got the chance to post the recipe. It’s modified from the amazing Isa Chandra’s recipe

1/2 cup Almond oil

1 cup Raw unrefined coconut palm sugar

1/4 cup Maple syrup

3 tbsp Almond or Soya milk

2 tsp Vanilla extract

1 and 2/3 cup Spelt or gluten free flour blend

1/2 Raw cacao powder

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt

For the topping:

1/3 cup Raw golden caster sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease and line a baking tray (or 2!).

Put the oil, sugar, maple syrup and milk in a bowl and mix together using a fork. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and sieve in to the wet ingredients. Mix until you have a dough. The dough will be quite moist and sticky.

Put the topping ingredients on a plate and mix together.

Take small, walnut sized, balls of the dough and pat into the topping sugar to make discs about 2 inches across. Make sure they are well covered in sugar. Put them on to the baking tray with the sugar facing up. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes until they are crackly on the top and have spread a little. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy! 🙂


Super healthy chocolately goodness – dairy free, sugar free just not actually free!

Continuing my chocolatey theme I thought today I’d leap in with my current favourite chocolate treat. I’ve shared this delight before but not in it’s chocolate form! This stuff is amazing and such a blessing for anyone trying to avoid dairy (for whatever reason) but still wanting something yoghurt/mousse-like in their diet.

It’s Coyo! the raw chocolate variety 🙂 It’s basically just coconut milk and raw chocolate! It’s great on it’s own or really good with some fresh berries 🙂

Chocolate week! the healthy (healthier) way… :)

It’s “Chocolate week” this week apparently! Hurrah I hear you cry! 🙂

So in order to celebrate one of my favourite things I wanted to share some chocolatey goodness with you all. Sadly my kitchen is still in a state of disarray (tile dramas!) so I haven’t been able to create anything new but it offers the perfect chance to go back to some old favourites. So here, just for you all, are a few of my favourite chocolate creations:

These are naughty, but not too naughty…. They’re best served hot so the chocolate oozes out of them…. hmmmmmm

Chunky Cherry Chocolate Loaves

This has to come a close second. It was originally featured on the fab Pure Form Fitness Kitchen blog and it’s the Ultimate Chocolate Dessert. The spelt chocolate brownies (which are also used for the valentine Brownie Love Bites) are, in my humble opinion, out of this world, especially with the sauce on it (which you can make thicker and as more of an icing if you choose….)

You can’t beat a bit of simplicity and these Raw Chilli Chocolates certainly fit the bill. They’re so easy and quick to make, full of antioxidants and simply divine!

Another recipe featured on Pure Form Fitness Kitchen, is my Chocolate Treat Bar. These are fab – full of goodness, full of chocolate but still healthy! These are my go to bar if I’ve had a big work out day or if I’m just having a chocolate craving! 100 times better than any pre-packaged cereal bar and you can use whatever seeds (or nuts) and dried fruit you like in them.

I’m going to leave it at that for now, before we all pass out from a chocolate induced high! But as it’s chocolate week ALL week I’m going to keep on posting a few more chocolatey delights as the week goes on so watch this space! 🙂