Raspberry and vanilla heart biscuits 


I thought I’d have a go at some cute valentine’s biscuits this year. These can be gluten free or not depending on what flour you use. They’re dairy free but do contain eggs. They look fab and are a lot simpler to make than they look!


Give them a go this Valentine’s ūüôā

You will need:

300g plain flour (or plain gluten free flour)

200g dairy free margarine 

120g golden caster sugar

2 egg yolks

30g freeze-dried raspberries

2 tsp vanilla extract

Put the flour and margarine (chopped or in small bits) in a food processor and pulse until it forms a crumb-like texture. Add the egg yolks and sugar and then pulse again until it forms a dough. 

Take 1/3 of the dough and put in a separate bowl. Add the vanilla extract to the remaining 2/3 and pulse again to combine. Then remove that dough and leave it in the fridge to chill. 

Put freeze dried raspberries into the processor and whizz until a fine dust. Add the 1/3 of the dough you removed to the raspberries. Pulse to combine.  Put the dough in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. 

Once chilled roll out the raspberry dough and cut out small heart shapes (I used a small 3cm heart cutter). It doesn’t matter exactly how thick they are as you will take all the cut out hearts and stack them together. Press them carefully together, ensuring you maintain the heart shape. Wrap in cling film and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours (you can do all this but one day and leave it overnight too).

When you’re ready to make the biscuits take the heart-roll out the freezer and the vanilla dough out of the fridge. Make three cylinders of the vanilla dough that are the length of the heart-roll. Stick them on to the heart-roll and carefully press them around it until you have completely covered the hearts in a circle. 


Wrap and pop in the freezer for 20 mins or so, then remove and cut into 1cm slices. 


Place them on a baking tray and pop them into a preheated oven at 170 C for 20 – 25 mins or until the edges start to turn golden. Allow them to cool on the tray for ten mins and then transfer to a wire rack.


They’re crumbly and yummy! Enjoy with a cup of tea or give them to someone you love!

Ape Crispy Coconut Curls – A review of a delicious savoury snack!


Well these kinda won me over right from the off – the anthropologist and monkey Dr in me was naturally drawn straight to any snack called Ape Crispy Coconut Curls and thrilled to be sent some to try. They’re made by a small london¬†based company which also ticks lots of boxes for me as I’m always keen to support small businesses.

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So unlike most coconut-based snacks these are actually savoury, not sweet – which is fab!¬†Finding a healthy, tasty alternative to things like crisps can be really tough and I’ve tried lots of savoury snacks in the past but I think these hit the spot the best. They are little bags of delightfully crispy coconut shavings with either a light dusting of black pepper or salt.

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Coconut is an awesome thing to snack on – it’s full of fibre and has more protein and less carbs than other savoury snacks like popcorn or potato crisps. They’re also full of good fats – medium-chain triglycerides which are linked to lots of healthy benefits increased calorie burning and make a great fuel as they’re easy for the body to metabolise. They also have antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

So on to the curls themselves. They’re completely natural with only two ingredients – the coconut and seasoning and are dried, not fried. I tried both flavours and loved both of them! So much I wolfed them down!

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The slightly peppered flavour has just enough punch to give you a peppery hit without being overbearing and is super tasty. The lightly salted variety is also delicious – again not too salty but just enough to hit any savoury craving. The packs do look small so I was a bit worried they wouldn’t be enough but actually because coconut is so filling it was the perfect portion size.

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I will definitely be getting these again – they’re a brilliant on-the go snack, they’re only 107 – 109 kcals and are gluten-free and vegan so everyone can enjoy them! Grab yourself a few bags and start munching happy!

If you want to find out more check out their website www.apesnacks.com or their facebook page  and look out for them in Ocado, Morrisons, Planet Organic, As Nature Intended, Revital and Nourish (as well as some independent cafes etc).

 

Coconut Apple Bites – a delicious alternative to apple pie!


These are absolutely delicious – quick and easy to make and so much better than a slice of apple pie – but taste just as good – if not better!

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Depending on how large your apples are you may need more or less of the crust – you may just have to adjust. Don’t worry about having to buy oat flour – you can make your own – just pop some porridge oats in to a blender and blend until fine.

Here’s a video showing you exactly how to make them ūüôā

You will need:

1 cup Oat flour

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 cup Desiccated coconut

4 tbsp Coconut syrup (I use Bali Nutra)

1 – 2 Apples (depending on size. I used Bramley’s)

Warm water – up to 4 tbsp

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Pre-heat the oven to 175 C.

Peel, core and dice your apples – you want chunks about an inch square. If you don’t want them to go brown you can pop them in cold water with some lemon/lime juice in. I don’t really mind if they go a little brown so I don’t bother.

Pop the oats and coconut in a bowl, mix the spices in and stir together. Add the coconut syrup and mix to form a dough. You need a workable but sticky dough so you may find you need to add a little water. I prefer not to add more coconut syrup as it gets too sweet but it’s up to you.

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Take a spoonful of the crust mixture and flatten in your hand. Pop a piece of apple in the middle and cover it in the crust dough.

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Pop on a lined baking tray. Once all the apples are covered pop in the oven for 10 – 15 mins – turning once. You want them to crisp up and go golden brown.

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Eat warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container for later.

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Cinnamon spiced coconut caramelised nuts


This is a super easy, super quick snack that can be eaten on it’s own or sprinkled on top of your porridge, yoghurt or how about on some n’ice cream (recipe here)!
 Check out my video here:

You will need:

1 tsp Coconut Oil

A good handful of mixed Nuts (I used almonds, pecans and cashews)

A good handful of Coconut flakes

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 tsp Coconut Syrup (I use the Bali Nutra syrup)

Pop the oil in a pan over a medium heat and allow to melt. Throw the cinnamon in and stir. Heat it until you start to smell the aromas of the cinnamon then add the nuts. Sauté for about 2 Р3 mins being careful not to let them burn. Add the coconut flakes and stir Рkeep an eye on these as they tend to burn fast. Drizzle in the sweetener and allow to sizzle for a minute or so.

Pour on to baking paper and leave to cool. Then enjoy just as it is, or use as a topping.

Fossil Fuel bars Рa review 


As you know, ¬†i’m always on the lookout for new healthy snacks and bars. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of trying some new energy bars – Fossil Fuel bars. These bars are paleo friendly bars made of fruit and nuts and are a fantastic on the go refuel option. Although not certified gluten free or vegan they don’t¬†have¬†any gluten-containing ingredients in them, or dairy or other animal products so are perfect for anyone avoiding those things.

They’re made by a small UK-based company and the creators are keen fitness fanatics so definitely on my wavelength ūüôā

They have two flavours – coconut and cashew, and cocoa and macadamia.

Both are really yummy – they’re packed with dates for sweetness and nuts for valuable protein and energy. I had them as my afternoon snack before my evening classes and they both hit the spot. The cocoa and macadamia one is definitely my favourite – it’s so moreish but also really satisfying. Neither is too sweet and they are both really filling. They make a great option if you want something healthier as a snack or even a brekkie if you’re rushing out the door and need something to grab. If you’re craving chocolate I’d definitely recommend the cocoa and macadamia one!

These are most definitely worth trying if you’re looking for a healthy snack on the go. Do check them out and let me know what you think. They’re available from their website : ¬†https://www.wearefossilfuel.co.uk

Almond Caramel N’ice Cream – quick, healthy and delicious


You can never have too much n’ice cream! Dairy, gluten and added sugar free – this is guilt free loveliness. I think this may be my favourite flavour yet! This is really¬†scrummy and tastes divine. It doesn’t need any extra sugar as the bananas and date caramel give it tonnes of rich sweetness and creaminess. It’s also pretty quick to make. I usually make up a big batch of the date caramel so I can use it for other stuff (or just eat it by the spoonful!).


You will need:

8 – 10 Medjool dates (this will create extra caramel so reduce if you don’t want any spare)

1 tbsp Almond butter

1 tbsp hot Water

4 frozen bananas

Handful almonds

Drizzle of coconut, maple or date syrup

It’s best if you peel and slice your bananas for freezing as it makes it easier for the blender to handle so make sure your bananas are well frozen first.

First caramelise the almonds. Pop the almonds into a dry frying pan, add a good drizzle of maple, coconut or date syrup and heat. You need to keep an eye on this – you want it to start to bubble and thicken but not burn. Keep stirring so they don’t catch. Once the syrup is reduced down and they’re well coated tip them out in to some baking paper and allow to cool. You can break them apart once cool.

  

Then make the caramel. Chop the dates and pop in to a high speed blender together with the almond butter. Depending on how dry your dates are you may not need all the water so start with half. Process well, adding the rest of the water if necessary, until you have a smooth caramel. Remove this from the blender (don’t worry about getting every last bit out and there’s no need to clean the blender).

Pop your frozen bananas in to the blender and pulse to blend the banana. Once it’s almost smooth add a tablespoon or so of the caramel back in to the blender with the bananas (add as much as you want – to taste). Blend well and then serve with the almonds sprinkled in top. If you want to serve it later freeze in small portions (plastic food bags or ice cube trays work best) and reblend briefly before serving to remove any large ice crystals.


Coconut and Apple Cake – gluten and dairy free


This is a wonderful combination of squidgy, moist and dry and crumbly cake which makes it super moreish. It’s also full of goodness and, if you add the protein, is also full of extra protein too. It can be made completely vegan if you want it to be (see below), or you can use eggs if you’re not fussed.

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This is especially good if served with the topping I’ve whipped up too and even better with a big dollop of Soya yoghurt or ice cream ūüôā

I’ve used the Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup in this recipe which I absolutely love – it’s so tasty!

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I’ve recorded a little video of this recipe here too :

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You will need:

1 cup of flour Рyou can use any flour you like here Рspelt, almond, coconut. I used Almond flour

1/2 cup Ground Almonds

1/2  cup Vanilla Protein Powder (I use this one) Рor if not then just add more flour

1/2 cup Desiccated Coconut

1 cup Coconut Syrup (from Bali Nutra)

1/2 cup Coconut Oil (melted)

3 eggs (or 3 tbsp Chia seeds soaked in 9 tbsp water)

2 heaped tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Cardamom (or 1 drop of cardamom extract)

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1 – 2 Bramley apples (depends how big they are!) (plus lemon juice to squeeze over them once cut if you want)

Optional Рif your batter is too dry (it will depend on the flour you use) then you may need to add a small amount of any non-dairy milk (I splashed a bit of coconut milk in mine)

A sprinkle of coconut sugar and some coconut flakes to decorate.

I also made a little topping to go with it for this you will need:

4 tbsp Coconut milk (use the 65 – 70% extract milk and see here for instructions on how to get the thick creamy part)

2 tbsp Coconut oil (melted)

2 – 3 tbsp Coconut syrup (adjust to taste)

2 tsp ground Cinnamon (adjust to taste)

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Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease and line a baking tin (I used a large loaf tin and three small ones as I had some extra batter but you could any tin you like – a 20 – 25cm round tin would work).

Put all the dry ingredients (flours, protein powder, spices etc) into a large mixing bowl and stir well. Peel and dice the apples. Set the apples aside and if you don’t want them to go brown add a squeeze of lemon juice while you wait to add them. Put all the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Add the wet to the dry and combine. The batter will be thick but if you have used coconut flour and the chia seeds then you may find your batter is far too dry. In which case add a little milk to loosen it up. Fold in the apple.

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Spoon the batter in to your tin, sprinkle a little coconut sugar and coconut flakes over the top for decoration if you fancy, and pop in the oven. If like me you have too much batter then make some small cakes too! Depending on the size of your tin it will take 25 – 40 mins to cook but just keep checking it and when a skewer comes out clean it’s done! As it cooks you may find the top starts to brown too much so just pop some foil over it if so.

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This is best eaten warm with a dollop of the topping – combine the topping ingredients together and serve!

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