Guilt Free Goodies – delicious treats! – a review


It’s been nearly 18 months since I first reviewed the lovely treats from Guilt Free Goodies. Since then it’s been such a pleasure to see Natasha’s business thrive and grow. I still regularly buy treats from her and have given them as gifts too. I thought I would repost my review just in case any of you haven’t yet had a chance to check out her goodies.

The best bit is that Natasha has very kindly set up a discount code for all of you lovely lot so if you place an order you will get 5% off! Just enter this code at checkout 🙂  NANCYGFG5%OFF

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Since my review her product range has really expanded with some truly delicious new treats – including delicious cookies, raw chocolates and chocolate truffles (as well as more flavours of her other treats like bites and bars). I’ve tried quite a few and they are all delicious – I particularly like the peanutter white chocolate truffles and raw raspberry ruffle truffle! Oooh and the salted caramel almond slice! Divine!

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There are also hampers available at the moment for christmas – you’ll have to get in wuick though if you want to pre-order them! check them out here.

And most exciting of all, Natasha has released her first ebook! So you can have a go at creating some treats at home! Order yours here. It’s beautifully put together and has a really lovely range of treats. It’s well written and set out and easy to follow so I’d definitely recommend it 🙂

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Here’s my review from last year:

I had the great pleasure this week of being sent a beautiful box of treats from Guilt Free Goodies.

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This UK, home-based business is run by Natasha and her partner, who produce homemade, all natural, healthy goodies – from granolas, nut butters to delicious treats and cakes. They’re perfect for anyone looking for dairy-free treats, diabetics and those wanting refined sugar-free treats (only natural sweeteners are used) or following the “paleo” diet. They’re also great for anyone who’s just health conscious and wants to watch what they eat. They can also make most of their products (granola, bites, energy balls and butters) suitable for vegans (some products do contain egg or honey).

I was sent this delightful selection of:

Peanut butter surprise muffin

Cashew butter, coconut and blueberry energy balls

Honey and peanut granola

Salted caramel almond bites

The first thing I noticed is how lovely the packaging was – all the items are beautifully packaged with lovely little touches like the handwritten notes. They’re also really securely packaged so nothing was damaged in transit.

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As instructed I popped the almond bites in the freezer (top tip – highly recommended!) and the first item I tucked in to was the cashew, coconut and blueberry energy balls. After a busy morning teaching spin and bodypump I was famished and needed something quick to munch on. These really hit the spot – full of goodness and flavour. Really satisfying and tasty too – not too sweet but sweet enough to satisfy 🙂

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Later that afternoon I was in dire need of a boost so thought I’d try the granola next – I served it with some homemade compote from my friend Colette and a big dollop of soya yoghurt.

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It was absolutely divine – crunchy and crisp with a great mix of nut and fruit. The sweetness wasn’t overpowering either which was great. I had to eek it out as otherwise I’d have eaten it all in one go! As it’s full of good fats (from the nuts) it really sustained me for my evening classes which is exactly what I needed. This would be just as good served with a little almond milk or yoghurt for brekkie, or as a decadent treat you could serve it with some coconut yoghurt or ice cream for dessert! Yum!

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I saved the muffin for a mid-morning snack with a cuppa. This was a really nice treat. Now it’s not like a traditional muffin so don’t be surprised. It’s a lot smaller but it’s also much denser. I really like this about it – it’s moist and squishy (in a good way!) and although small it’s exactly the right amount for a snack. I loved the peanut butter in the middle of this one. The nice thing about these muffins is that they really fill you up in a way traditional muffins just don’t.

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I saved the best until last – the almond bites. I was most excited about these – they looked delicious and I’m such a sucker for anything almond-based so I had high hopes.

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I was not disappointed in the slightest. These were so good! They’re definitely best out the freezer – the base goes all crispy and the caramel stays soft. The combination of the caramel, a whole almond in the middle (!), and lovely chocolate on the top is just fab!

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So all in all I was really impressed with all these products. They certainly live up to their reputation and satisfy your cravings without ruining any of your hard work!

I just love that this is a home-run business, run by someone who clearly puts their heart and soul in to their products. I’d definitely recommend them so do go and try them. You can also buy hampers or sample boxes and they’d make great gifts for the health foodlovers in your life. I’m really looking forward to ordering some of Natasha’s other products now – especially the loaf cakes and nut butters! 🙂

You can find out more about the products and place orders from their facebook page – here: Guilt Free Goodies or their new online shop here: Guilt Free Goodies Eshop.

Do check them out! and if you do let me know what you think 🙂

 

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 🙂

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 – 3 mins being careful not to let them burn. Add the coconut flakes and stir – keep 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.

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 🙂

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 – you can use any flour you like here – spelt, almond, coconut. I used Almond flour

1/2 cup Ground Almonds

1/2  cup Vanilla Protein Powder (I use this one) – or 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 – if 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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Rhubarb and Cinnamon Cake – Dairy and Gluten free


After very kindly being given some freshly grown rhubarb (thank you Des and Lisa 🙂 ) I thought I would try to do something different with it, rather than the classic crumble and came up with this little beauty! This is a moist but light cake and the tartness of the rhubarb goes so well with the warmth of the cinnamon. I choose to poach the rhubarb lightly first as I find it ensures it is non-stringy and deliciously soft.

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You will need:

Approx 350g Rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces

3 tbsp Apple juice and 1 tbsp Coconut sugar (for poaching)

1 1/4 cups of Gluten free self-raising flour (or you can make your own using plain gluten free or spelt flour plus 1 3/4 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt)

1/2 cup Ground Almonds

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1/3 cup of Golden caster sugar (or other unrefined fine sugar)

1/3 cup Coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar)

3/4 cup Almond (or light Olive) oil

Up to 1 1/4 cup of Almond milk or Soya milk (or any other non-dairy milk)

2 tbsp Cider vinegar

2 heaped tsp ground Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 160 C.

First you need to poach the rhubarb. Pop it in to a roasting tin (so it’s only one layer thick) and add the apple juice and 1 tbsp sugar. Cover with foil and bake for approx 15 mins (or until the rhubarb is a little soft – the time will vary depending on how thick your stalks are). Remove from oven, strain and set aside (keeping the juice – we need that later). Leave the oven on but increase it to 170 C.

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Place the flour, sugar, cinnamon and ground almonds in to a bowl and mix together.

Pour the juice from the poached rhubarb into a measuring jug (if there isn’t much don’t worry – use it anyway) and then add enough milk to give 1 1/4 cups in total of liquid. Add the vinegar and stir. Then add the bicarbonate of soda and mix (it will fizz!). Add this to the dry ingredients, and then add the oil. Stir it well and finally fold in the rhubarb.

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Pour in to a tin (I used a 20 x 20 cm tin) lined with greaseproof paper and pop in the oven for 35 – 45 mins (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then place on a wire rack. Cut and serve! 🙂

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Vegan Tuck Box – a review


I’ve had the pleasure of trying another fab little vegan subscription box – this time from The Vegan Tuck Box. 

This is a great little box of vegan treats that you can subscribe to and be sent monthly, or buy as a one off box for yourself or as a gift. This is very much a treat box and full of exciting snacks from around the world. They specialise in sourcing the more unusual, hard to find treats. They also offer a gluten-free version of the box so there’s something for everyone. You don’t need to be vegan to enjoy the treat – they’re delicious regardless.

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The selection is a surprise but is a range of snacks, chocolates, crisps and even drinks. What I also love about them, is not only do the products not harm animals, they actually donate 20p from each box to Hillside Animal Sanctuary so are actively helping animals too!

There are various options of box – classic boxes, mini boxes, vegan starter boxes, chocolate lovers box etc (more info here)!  I was sent a mini-box to try.

In that months box I got:

– NoNos – Peanut Butter

– Chia Charge – Protein Bar

– Freedom Mallows – Mallow Choc Dip

– TreeHugger – Gumballs

– Soypresso – Medium

The box arrived safely and well packed and I was excited to try these treats. A treat is so much better shared with a friend so I shared these with my friend Colette from The Pure Form Fitness Kitchen.

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These were like mini smarties I guess, but with a peanut butter filling. I love peanut butter and was excited to try these. There were smaller than I expected which meant we wolfed them down! They were very more-ish and very sweet but not that peanut-buttery really. In fact they reminded me more of a white chocolate/caramel flavour. They were still nice though so don’t be put off if you’re not a huge peanut butter fan as they don’t taste that peanutty! They would make an excellent alternative chocolate treat for kids too  – they’re colourful, fun, sweet and creamy.

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Chia Charge – Protein Bar

I’m a big fan of healthy, natural sources of protein to eat on the go so this was always going to be a winner for me. Love the combo of flavours – cacao and cranberry – choclately, tart but tasty. It’s sweet but not too sweet and packed with fab ingredients. It feels like a treat, but is nice and filling. Both Colette and I loved this but we did spend a fair amount of time picking chia seeds out of our teeth! Worth it though as it’s so good for you 🙂

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Freedom Mallows – Mallow Choc Dip

How fab to have some vegan marshmallows, and gluten free too! 🙂 These were fun – I really enjoyed sharing them with Colette – they were yummy and definitely felt like a naughty treat! They’re super sweet so definitely best shared with a friend or loved one, but are delish. They’d be even better dunked in toasted coconut afterwards (in fact I may try that next time!).

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TreeHugger – Gumballs

Gosh we had such fun with these! They were a great little treat to have in our box. I hadn’t had bubble gum since I was a teenager so we had a laugh trying these. They are vegan but despite not having any gelatine in them they last just as long as “normal” bubble gum. . The flavours are natural but tasty and juicy. The bubbles weren’t a huge success but I think that may be more to do with the bubble blowers than the gum itself 😉

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Soypresso – Medium

This reminded me of being in Indonesia where cans of coffee drinks are all the rage (you can read more about my Indonesian monkey exploits over on my other blog – here). The cans over there are all dairy based so I was excited to try a Soya version. It’s creamy and has a strong coffee flavour which is fab. It’s rather sweet but in the summer, over ice, this would be a fab treat and if you usually sweeten your coffee you will love this! We were feeling generous so shared this with Colette’s husband Rod too. We all enjoyed it 🙂

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So all in all I would really recommend these boxes – they’re a fab way to explore and try new vegan treats that you won’t find in the shops. Do check them out (http://www.vegantuckbox.co.uk/) and you can even get 10% off subscriptions by using the code “blog10” – so no excuses now! 🙂

Enjoy!

Apple and Coconut Cinnamon Caramel Swirled Loaf – Dairy free, Gluten Free and Vegan


This may be my best loaf recipe yet… This was so good I had to make it twice, in two days.. and it didn’t last long!


I was sent a bottle of this fab Coconut Syrup, which I was already a big fan of, and I’m really enjoying playing around with date caramel at the moment, so I thought why not combine the two in an appley-caramely-coconutty-squidgy loaf! The coconut syrup adds a lovely richness to the loaf which is fab. The syrup is great for drizzling over yoghurt, sweetening smoothies or pouring over your finished slice of loaf too! You can find out more here – Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup.


I’ve even done a little video too! 🙂


You will need:

2 cups Gluten-free flour or spelt flour
1 cup coconut palm (or any unrefined) sugar (plus a little extra to sprinkle on top)
1/4 cup Coconut Syrup
1/4 cup and 2 tbsps almond oil or olive oil
3/4 cup apple purée (make your own – instructions here)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (plus a little extra to sprinkle on the top)
1/2 cup date caramel (recipe here)
1 tbsp Cocoa powder
1 small apple – diced
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, coconut, cinnamon, allspice and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix the oil and sugar together until well combined. Add the apple purée and the soya milk (to which vinegar has been added), the coconut syrup and the vanilla extract. Add this mix to the flour mixture and stir well. Add the diced apple and stir well.

Remove about one cup of this batter and put it in a separate bowl. Stir the date caramel in to this mix. Add the cocoa powder and mix well – this adds a lovely richness to the batter and also darkens it to make the swirls more obvious, without giving a Chocolate flavour 🙂

Start by adding a layer of the plain batter in your loaf tin. Drop a few spoonfuls of the caramel batter and use a fork to marble it, then add another layer of plain batter. Continue to layer and marble the batters until you’ve used it up! Sprinkle with a little coconut sugar and desiccated coconut.

 


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.

 

This is absolutely divine when warm and if you have any spare date caramel I highly recommend smearing some on top!

You can easily freeze this too – it keeps brilliantly.