Healthy, sugar-free ice lollies


Now that the sun is finally shining here I fancied something cold and yummy, so I thought I’d make these up again 🙂 The original recipe was one I posted on Colette’s fitness kitchen, but here it is again 🙂

Cool off with one of these delicious lollies

In the hot weather everyone fancies an ice cream so why not whip up one of these delicious, healthy versions to get you through those warm afternoons.

Pineapple Bliss Lolly

3 Bananas
1/3 Pineapple
1 Apple (or an equivalent amount of fresh apple juice)
Coconut milk (adjust quantity to suit taste and consistency)
Handful of fresh Mint leaves

Put all the ingredients in a blender apart from the mint. Blend until smooth. Chop the mint leaves and add to the mix. Stir well then put into lolly moulds and freeze. The coconut milk adds a lovely creaminess to this, but if you want something even more ice cream like then add in a scoop of vanilla Pure Protein Powder – divine!

Berrytastic Lolly

1 Banana
1 Apple (or equivalent amount of juice)
Handful of Grapes (8 – 10)
4 – 6 Strawberries
4 – 6 Blackberries
4 – 6 Raspberries
20 – 30 Blackcurrants

Put all the ingredients in a blender (you can add whatever fruits you have to this) and blend until smooth. If you want something a bit creamier add some coconut milk or vanilla Pure Protein Powder, and for an added health boost add in the contents of 1 – 3 Acai Berry Plus capsules and some Organic Green Power Powder – yum!

Pour into lolly moulds and freeze! Then go and enjoy the sunshine 🙂

Bananarama! Banana bread recipes :)


A glut of over-ripe bananas led to a bit of banana bread making so I thought I would re-post these two recipes. I’ve had a bit of fun with banana bread recently and a very good friend and I have done a blind banana bread tasting – 4 banana breads (hers and mine) so I’ll be posting the results of that soon! In the meantime though here are my two recipes 🙂

The first recipe is a dairy free, low gluten (spelt) banana bread and the second one is a modification of my  friend Colette’s mum’s recipe (modified to replace butter with oil and a few other little additions of my own) which does contain eggs (but these could be substituted out for apple puree).  Either of these recipes could have nuts added to them – walnuts would work particularly well, and if you’re feeling naughty you could throw in some dark chocolate chunks too!

Dairy free Banana Bread:

2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 cup coconut palm (or any unrefined) sugar
1/4 cup and 2 tbsps almond oil or olive oil
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup soya milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp himalayan rock salt

Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C. Line and grease a small loaf tin (approximately 8 inches x 4 inches).

Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix the oil and sugar together until well combined. Add the mashed bananas and the soya milk (to which vinegar has been added) and the vanilla extract. Add this mix to the flour mixture and stir well. Pour into the loaf tin and place in the oven for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Colette’s mum’s modified banana bread:

2 cups white spelt flour
1 cup coconut palm (or any unrefined) sugar
1/4 cup and 2 tbsps almond oil or olive oil
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda                                                                                                                      1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp himalayan rock salt

Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C. Line and grease a small loaf tin (approximately 8 inches x 4 inches).

In a large bowl mix the oil and sugar together until well combined, then add the mashed bananas and vanila extract. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt together.  Add half of this mix to the wet ingredients and mix well. Then add one egg and mix until combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture, stir well and add the final egg. Mix until well combined. Mix the bicarbonate of soda in 1/4 cup of hot water and stir in to the mixture. Pour into the loaf tin, sprinkle some unrefined coconut sugar over the top and place in the oven for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

Oh So Simple Apple Compote Recipe


I confess, I have a problem. I am utterly addicted to apple compote. I have it with my homemade granola for brekkie, I have it with co yo for a lovely comforting dessert and I have it cold out the fridge for a mid-arvo snack!  I have posted this before when I posted my mincemeat and apple festive compote but I thought it was worth a post in it’s own right!

Never, ever, buy a store bought compote unless you can help it. They’re so simple to make and unless you’re careful about what you buy you are basically just buying pure unrefined sugar!

The apple compote is super simple! Just peel and core some bramley apples (as many as you want to eat!), chop small and put in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Gently bring to the boil, add a lid and simmer on a low heat until the apple is all mushy! I like it just like this, but if you want it sweeter then add some raw sugar while you cook them. Stir occasionally to stop the apple sticking and make sure it doesn’t boil dry (just add a little more water if it does). Once cooled transfer to a jar and store in the fridge for up to a week (mine never lasts that long!). You can also freeze it in batches too :)

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Cranberry and Apple Meringue pie! oh my!


Hands up if you love Lemon Meringue Pie! I do! And yes I know, meringue contains eggs, so I’m very sorry to my vegan friends (although you can use a commercial egg replacer for meringue so all is not lost!), but this festive meringue pie is gluten and dairy free 🙂 It’s a nice change to the usual festive fair!

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Pastry

100g Ground almonds
100g Flaked almonds
75g Spelt or Rice flour(or other gluten free flour)
25g Golden raw Caster sugar
50ml Almond oil
3 -4 tbsp cold almond or other non dairy milk
Pinch of Himalayan rock salt

Filling

4-5 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
250g frozen or fresh Cranberries
juice of 1 clementine
75g Dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Corn flour
Raw unrefined sugar (if required)

Meringue

3 Large egg whites (or egg replacer)
150g Golden raw Caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Put the ground and almonds into a bowl with the flour and salt and stir to combine. Keep stirring and add in the olive oil gradually. Add 2 tablespoons of almond milk and keep stirring. The mixture should hold together when pressed, if it doesn’t then add some more almond milk, stirring all the time, until it does. At this point have a taste. If you want a sweeter pastry then add some more sugar until you get the desired flavour. Press it into a 20 cm pie or fluted flan dish. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until set and barely golden.
Remove from the oven and brush the almond pastry with a little almond oil and return to the oven for a few minutes to set then set aside to cool.

Now for the filling! First you need to cook the cranberries. Place the frozen or fresh cranberries in a pan with the juice of 1 clementine (or half an orange if that’s easier!). Cook for 5 mins until the cranberries start to soften and burst. Taste – if too tart for you then add a little raw sugar. Put the apples, cooked cranberries and dried cranberries in a saucepan with 75ml water and bring to the boil. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.

Mix the corn flour with a tbsp of cold water till smooth then stir into fruit mixture. Boil for 1 minute then pour into the pastry case.

If using them then whisk the egg whites until stiff, then beat in the sugar, a third at a time, to form a thick meringue. Spoon over the fruit and bake 20-25 minutes until golden.
Leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a plate to cool.

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Festive comfort pudding (or breakfast!) Apple and mincemeat compote


I love a hot, comforting pudding on a cold night and one of my favourites is apple compote with nuts and yoghurt. I’m also a massive mincemeat fan soI thought I’d combine the two!

The apple compote is so simple to make it’s embarrassing! Just peel and core some bramley apples (as many as you want to eat!), chop small and put in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Gently bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat until the apple is all mushy! I like it just like this, but if you want it sweeter then add some raw sugar while you cook them. Once cooled transfer to a jar and store in the fridge for up to a week (in fact mine never lasts that long!). You can also freeze it in batches too 🙂

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For the mincemeat I use my favourite home made mincemeat recipe which I use for my mincepies. It was originally featured on the Pure form fitness kitchen – here.

Once done simply combine the two! I heat mine in the microwave for a few mins then serve with some delicious Co Yo yoghurt and toasted almonds – yummo! 🙂

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Indonesian inspired pineapple bites


I’m off back to Indonesia for 2 months soon so I thought I’d get in the mood with some Indonesian inspired flavour combinations! The pineapple- peanut butter-tamarind combo is a classic sweet/sour flavour explosion in Asia and I just love it!  I used a dehydrator for these but you can use your oven. I like them cooked or dehydrated for a long time so they go all chewy, but they are also delicious cooked for only 20 mins and served warm and juicy over yoghurt or booja booja ice cream… 🙂

 

300 g Fresh Pineapple (approx half a big pineapple)

4 tbsp Peanut butter (smooth works best)

2 tsp Tamarind paste

2 tbsp Almond oil (or other neutral oil)

Cut the pineapple in to thing rings and then slice into small pieces. In a separate bowl mix the other ingredients. Stir well until it forms a runny paste. You may need to add a little more oil if the paste is too thick. Pour over the pineapple and ensure all the pineapple is coated. Place on a baking tray in the oven or arrange on your dehydrator rack and dehydrate for 3 – 4 hours or until it’s as chewy as you want it. If you want juicy, warm pieces to put on top of ice cream then oven bake at 190 C for about 20 minutes. If you are dehydrating it in the oven just leave it in longer at a lower heat.

Once ready either put on yoghurt or ice cream, or if it’s the chewy stuff pop it in a pot and snack on it to your heart’s delight! 🙂

Dad’s Ginger Cake (dairy-free, low-gluten)


Nine years ago today my dad passed away. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about him, miss him and wish he was still here.  It may seem a little odd but I like to do something “nice” to remember him on this day and since baking is something I love (and the results are something he loved!) I baked a ginger cake this weekend in his honour! Ginger cake was one of his favourites, though being a bit odd 😉  whenever he was offered a slice  he would usually tell us he couldn’t possibly have it then and that he’d save it and have it for breakfast.. and he did! 🙂 We always used to take the mickey out of him for it and it still makes me chuckle to think about it. This cake is sticky and gooey and just gets better the longer you leave it in the tin (IF you can leave it alone that is!)

So, Dad, this cake’s for you! I’m sure you’d love it 🙂

1/2 cup Almond oil
1 cup Coconut sugar / unrefined raw sugar
1/2 cup Molasses
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
2 cups Spelt flour or gluten free flour mix
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp ground Ginger
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
2/3 cup boiling Water
6 tbsp pureed Apple
1/4 – 1/2 cup Crystallised ginger

Preheat the oven to 170 C and line a small cake tin with greaseproof paper (I used a square brownie tray approx 8 inch square).

Mix the sugar and oil together in a large bowl. Add the molasses, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in to the mix and stir well. Sieve the flour with the baking powder and ginger into a large bowl and leave to one side. Put the bicarbonate of soda into a wet measuring cup and add the boiling water then immediately pour the mixture into the sugar/oil/molasses mix and stir to combine. Add the flour gradually and stir well until there are no lumps.
Add the apple and mix well. Finally stir in the crystallised ginger. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 40 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes then turn out on to a wire rack to cool. Then enjoy!

Lemon Chia Muffins (dairy-free, gluten free)


I’ve got a bit of a busy weekend and my kitchen cupboards are woefully bare so I wanted to see what I could whip up that wouldn’t take long and used what I had left in the fridge and cupboard. These muffins are the result!  It’s been such lovely weather this week here that I was really in the mood for something light and refreshing and something lemony seemed to fit the bill. These muffins use courgette but don’t let that scare you – you really can’t taste the courgette. It gives them a lovely moistness though and quite a cool greenish hue! 🙂 Chia seeds are my egg replacer of choice here – they work really well in muffins and they’re packed full of goodness so there’s an added bonus there. These take only a few minutes to make so are perfect for a busy saturday afternoon and would be great for a picnic.

200g Courgette (grated – you can peel it if you want but I don’t bother)

2 tbsp Chia seeds + 6 tbsp water

120g Unrefined golden caster sugar (you can substitute this for 100g honey/sweet freedom/agave)

Zest of 1 Lemon

150g Rice flour

50g Ground almonds

2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Golden icing sugar

a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Chia seeds for decoration

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Put the 2 tbsp of chia seeds and 6 tbsp water in a bowl, give them a good stir and leave to soak until the chia seeds have absorbed the water (this may take up to 10 mins and they will end up jelly-like). Put the sugar (or sugar substitute) in a bowl and add the soaked chia seeds and mix well. Add the lemon zest and grated courgette and mix with a fork. Add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well. If using sugar the mixture may be a bit dry, add 1 – 2 tbsp water if so. Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in a muffin tin (this should make approx 12 small muffins) and place in the oven for 30 – 40 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out pretty much clean.These muffins are quite moist so there may still be some mixture on the skewer. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing mix the golden icing sugar with a few drops of lemon juice (to taste) and water until a smooth paste is formed. Wait until the muffins are totally cool before icing, then ice and sprinkle with chia seeds. These muffins can be frozon before being iced and will last a few weeks in the freezer (just ensure they’re inside a plastic bag or container to prevent freezer burn!).

Enjoy! 🙂

Almost “healthy” Sticky Toffee Pudding


Ah sticky toffee pudding, possibly one of my favourite childhood desserts! A classic school dinner pud that always brightened the coldest, wettest school day. I’ve not had a sticky toffee pudding for years though, so when my favourite vegan, Mel, suggested I have a go at making one this weekend I jumped at the chance.

This one’s perfect as a comfort pudding on a cold evening, served with some dairy free custard. It definitely needs to be served warm, and you definitely need the sauce with it – and lots of it! The pud itself is not over-sweet, if you’re looking for something sweeter you might want to use unrefined sugar instead of the agave. but once you pour the sauce over it I’m sure you’ll find it will satisy any sweet tooth.

As a nice twist you can soak the dates in rooibos tea and make an earl grey caramel sauce (I’ll explain below!). If you don’t have the rice and quinoa flour you can substitute it for an all purpose plain gluten free flour mix (you also need to leave out the xantham gum if you do this), or if you just want to make it low gluten you can use white spelt flour (and again, leave out the xantham gum).

1 1⁄4 cup Dates, pitted

3⁄4 cup Warm water or rooibos tea

1 tsp  Baking soda

1 cup Rice flour

1⁄4 cup Quinoa flour

1⁄2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1 3⁄4 tsp Baking powder

1⁄4 tsp Xantham gum

1⁄4 cup Coconut oil (melted)

1⁄3 cup Agave nectar or Sweet Freedom (or 1/2 cup Coconut palm sugar or unrefined raw sugar)

1 Tbsp Date syrup

1⁄2 tsp Vanilla extract

2 tbsp Ground linseed (flax seed) mixed with 1/2 cup water (or rooibos tea)

For the sauce:

1⁄2 cup Coconut oil

1⁄2 cup Coconut palm sugar or unrefined raw sugar (or Agave)

1⁄2 cup Coconut milk or Soya milk (infused with earl grey tea if you want – details below)

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 tbsp Cornflour or Arrowroot powder mixed in a small amount of cold water (to form a loose paste)

Preheat the oven to 175 C and grease 5 – 6 small ramekins. This recipe filled 5 of these mini loaf tins (which are brilliant by the way!) but you could use a larger tin and create one big pud!

Put the dates and water/tea in a small pan and simmer for 5 mins. Then let it sit for 15 mins until the dates are nice and soft. Meanwhile sieve all the dry ingredients (except the bicarbonate of soda) into a bowl. Put the coconut oil, agave, date syrup, vanilla and flax mix in another bowl and mix until well combined. Once the dates are soft add in the bicarobonate of soda and let it foam. Then lightly mash the dates before adding to the wet ingredients. Mix it all together and add in the dry ingredients and combine well. Pour into the greased tins. Place the tins in a bain-marie – I used a roasting tin with enough water in to go up to half the height of the load tins.

5 little puds in my version of a bain-marie just waiting to go in the oven

Bake for 30 – 40 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Keep an eye on the puds – if they start to get too brown on top then lightly place a sheet of tin foil over them to prevent burning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack.

Now for the sauce! If you want to go for an earl grey (or any flavoured tea) sauce then you need to infuse the coconut or soya milk with the tea first. Put the milk in a small pan on the hob, add 1 tbsp of loose tea or 2 tea bags and gently warm it. Do not let it simmer or boil. Let is sit for a good 15 mins, then strain it for use.  To make the sauce melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a low heat. Whisk in the sugar, stirring continuously until it dissolves (approx 3 – 4 mins). You may find it won’t completely dissolve – don’t worry about this, it will still work. Ad the milk a little at a time. When you first add it it will spit and fiz and you’ll panic like I did and think you’ve mucked it up! Just stir quickly and then add the rest in one go, stirring all the time. You’ll find this will instantly create a smooth sauce.  At this point keep stirring to combine the oil (it does tend to want to separate out). If you like your sauce runny leave it as it is, but if you want something thicker then add the cornflour/arrowroot mix – stirring continuously whilst still on the heat. Stir until it thickens and then remove from the heat and pour into a jug for serving.

This pud NEEDS to be served warm so either eat it right away or re-heat it later 🙂 Enjoy the stickiness! 🙂

Raw chocolate truffles! :)


As it’s valentine’s day I just had to give this recipe for raw chocolate truffles a try. I modified the recipe a bit – I subsituted the honey in the original recipe with Agave and because they tasted a bit sweet to me I added in a tablespoon of carob powder too. They’re not half bad for a healthy truffle and very easy to make!

a perfect post dinner treat

This will make loads! I cut the ingredients down by a third and it made 10 decent sized truffles, but I’ve put the original amounts here so you can decide for yourselves how many to make! 🙂

3/4 cup Raw Cacao Powder

2 cups of Ground Almonds

1/2 cup Agave Syrup

3 tbsp Carob Powder

1 tbsp Coconut oil

Dessicated coconut for rolling

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. If the coconut oil is too solid you may need to soften it first in the microwave. Once combined roll into truffles and roll in dessicated coconut. They can be eaten immediately but are best if chilled first – either in the freezer or fridge for as long as you can wait! 🙂