Almond butter and cacao cookies – grain free

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These are possibly the easiest cookies ever! They literally required an handful of ingredients and the cook in no time. They are gluten free and they also happen to be paleo as I have used almond flour which gives them a dense and rich consistency. If you don’t have almond butter on hand you can totally swap it for peanut butter or cashew butter would probably work as well. These little beauties are packed in protein and relatively low in sugar so they also say ideal as a post work out snack.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp of melted coconut oil

8 tbsp of almond butter

100 gr of ground almonds

3 tbsp of date syrup or maple syrup ( use more if you want them sweeter)

1 tbsp of raw cacao

1 pinch of salt

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 tsp of baking soda

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Covered a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large bowl with a fork mix the almond butter with ground almonds and the baking soda. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir throughly.

Scoop 1 tablespoon of cookie dough at the time and with a fork mashed delicately down onto the baking tray. Keep doing so until you finish all the dough. Decorate with almonds (optional).

Place in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes until they are slightly golden brown.

Remove the tray from the oven and let them to cool for about 10 minutes. They will still be soft as soon as you taken them out but they will harden once cooling down.

Store in air tight container or jar for up to a week.

 

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Chestnut and apple breakfast bars

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Ingredients:

500g  of chestnut flour

700 ml of almond milk or any other non dairy milk

2 apples peeled and diced in bite size pieces ( I have used Jazz apples as they are naturally very sweet)

1/2 cup of walnut or pecans chopped roughly

1/2 cup of sultanas (optional)soaked in warm water for about 1 hour

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.

Line a baking tin with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix the chestnut flour with the almond milk, add a bit more water if the consistency is too thick. Whisk vigourosly to avoid any lumps. The batter should be a smooth paste. Fold in the chopped apples, the nut and the drained sultanas. Pour the batter into the baking and tray and place in the oven.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the top is cracked and slightly brown.

Let it cool down for about 20 minutes, once cooled slice it into bars and top with some extra chopped nuts or more sultanas.IMG_6664

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Mungo beans and lentils curry

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Ingredients:

1 cup of cooked mango beans

1 cup of cooked puy lentils

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 red pepper

1 carrot

1 stick of celery

1 medium size onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

1 teaspoon of cumin powder

1 teaspoon of ginger powder

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional)

2 cups of vegetable stock + more water spending on a thick you like your curry

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

chopped coriander to garnish

Start by chopping the onion and the garlic as finely as you can. Also chopped in small pieces the carrot and the celery. Heat up the coconut oil in a pan, add all the chopped vegetables. On a low heat cook the vegetable down until the onion is soft and translucent. Add all the spices and cook for another couple of minutes. Chop the pepper and add it to the pan. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Stir everything together and cover the pan with the lid and let it cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the vegetables should be quite soft. Add the lentils and the mungo beans. Put the lid back on and cook for another 10 minutes. Add more water if you like your curry slightly runnier. I like mine quite chunky so I didn’t add any.

I like to have my curry with quinoa or bride rice and lots of chopped fresh coriander sprinkled on top.IMG_6903

 

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Almond butter and Apple Granola

 

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I have always been a sucker when it comes to granola, it used to be my go to go breakfast for years until I realised how much sugar the regular shop bought granolas almost always have.

This granola instead is incredibly low in sugar and obviously high in goodness! I haven’t used any maple syrup or honey, the sweetness comes entirely from the apples and the dried apricots, combined with some gorgeous velvety almond butter it literally creates the most gorgeous, nutty, caramel taste granola.

 

Ingredients: ( makes a large jar)

1 and 1/2 of rolled jumbo oats

2 apples ( for this recipe I have used Jazz Apples as they naturally very sweet) peeled and chopped in bite size pieces

1/2 cup of almonds roughly chopped

1/2 cup of pecans roughly chopped

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup of gojii berries (optional)

1/2 cup of raw coconut chips

3/4 of a cup of dried apricots ( try to buy unsulphited ones, they will look brown)

2 generous tablespoon of almond butter

2 tablespoon of coconut oil melted

2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Extras:

1/2 cup of quinoa pops

1/2 cup of buckinis

Start by dehydrate the apples. Place the chopped apples in a tray lined with baking paper and sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Place the them in the oven at 120 degrees for at least 40 minutes. After 20 minutes stir them to make sure they cook evenly. After 40 minutes the apples should be golden brown and crispy. Take the tray out of the oven and leave it on one side to cool.

To make the apricot and almond butter paste: chopped the dried apricots in small pieces and place them into a food processor with the almond butter and the coconut oil. Blitz the mixture for about 1-2 minutes until it becomes a soft and sticky paste.

Line a tray with baking paper, add the oats, the remaining cinnamon powder and the chopped nuts. Pour the apricots and almond butter paste over them and with your hands combine everything together, you should get sticky clusters of oats and nuts.

Place the tray in the oven and bake at 120-150 degrees for 45 minutes. After 20 minutes stir the granola to make sure it doesn’t burn. After 35 minutes take the granola out and add the coconut chips, the sunflower seeds and the pumpkin seeds. Place it back in the ice for a further 10 minutes. Once the granola is nice and crunchy take it out of the oven and leave it to cool. Once it’s all cooled down add the dried apples pieces baked previously. I like to also add  gojii berries, quinoa pops and buckinis, these are totally optional and the granola will taste as delicious without.

Store the granola in air tight jar for up to 1 month.

I like to serve my granola with almond milk, sliced banana and fresh berries, it is seriously the best breakfast!

 

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Lime and turmeric bliss balls

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Since I have made my lemon and turmeric pancakes I have been obsessed with this incredible combination of flavours. Apart from having quite a mild flavour, turmeric is jammed packed with endless health benefits. The one which wowed me the most is that Turmeric is a very potent skin loving superfood. It has been proven to help fighting and healing acne and in the Indian culture is also use in skin lotion and moisturises. I try to incorporate turmeric into my day to day cooking as much as I can and why not using it in sweet recipes as well?  It works extremely well with all warm, exotically sweet flavours, like bananas, dates and coconut but also with apples, pears and apricots which I decided to use for this recipe. If you don’t have dried apricots on hands you can certainly use dates, although I love the sweet but slightly fresher flavour of apricots mixed with the dried coconut.

These little beauties make the perfect antioxidants packed afternoon pick me, I like to make a big batch on Sunday and happily munch them throughout the week.

ingredients:

1 cup of cashew

3/4 of a cup of shredded coconut

1/2 cup of dried apricots ( preferably try to buy apricots without sulphites,they are darker in colour)

1 tablespoon of cashew butter (almond butter will work as well)

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder

the juice of 1 lime

the zest of 1 lime

1 teaspoon of maple syrup (you can add more if you like sweeter)

3/4 of a cup of shredded coconuts for rolling the balls

Place the cashew in a food processor and blitz them for about 1-2 minutes until they start to form a flour.Do not over processed them otherwise you will end up with cashew butter!:)

Add all the remaining ingredients and blitz again for about 2-3 minutes until a sticky dough starts to form.

Remove the dough from the food processor and with your hands roll about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a ping pong size balls and coat them into the shredded coconut. Continue this process until all you finish all the dough.

Store the bliss balls in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

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Almond butter Chocolate Banana Bread

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This banana bread could possibly be my favourite thing at the moment, I am eating for Breakfast, in the afternoon as a snack, after dinner for dessert, I am totally obsessed with it! It might be because it combines three of my favourite food: almond butter + banana + chocolate, what more can I possibly ask for?

I know it’s sound pretty decadent but is actually relatively low in sugar as the bananas act as the perfect sweetener so you actually don’t need to add much more maple syrup or coconut sugar.  For the chocolate I have used roughly chopped OM BAR 70% dark chocolate as it’s so intensely rich and only sweeten by coconut sugar, but any other good quality dark chocolate would work as well.

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp of milled flaxseed + 2.5 tbsp of water mixed together
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/3 cup of almond butter
  • 2.5 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1/5 cup of coconut sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp of honey or maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like it
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup of ground almond
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup of brown rice flour
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of chopped dark chocolate (I have used OM BAR 70% cacao)
  • a handful of cacao nibs to sprinkle on top (optional)
Preheat oven and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes until it assumes a gloopy consistency. Add the bananas and mash thoroughly. Add all ingredients through almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine.
Add the cacao powder, almond meal, brown rice flour blend, oats and stir.
Last stir in the chopped chocolate.
If using sprinkle the cacao nibs on top.
Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. When ready should be firm with a nice crust on top. Let cool completely before cutting it into slices.
I love having mine with some almond butter and some slice banana on top.

 

 

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Lemon and turmeric pancakes with caramelised bananas

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Happy pancakes day everyone! These super sunny stack of turmeric and lemon pancakes can seriously brighten up even the gloomiest day 🙂

Apart from being super simple to make these beauties are also packed with goodness. I know turmeric might sounds a bit unusual but it actually work really well with the zestiness of the lemon and the sweetness of the bananas and it is also a power house of health benefits; it’s one of the food with highest concentration of antioxidants, anti inflammatory properties and it has even been proven to help fighting acne.

To top it all off I love having these pancaked with dates syrup caramelised bananas and some more lemon zest grated on top, I promise you the combination is just divine, perfect not only for pancakes day!

Ingredients – make about 8-10 pancakes

1.5 cup of rolled oats

1 very ripe banana

1 cup of rice milk

the zest of 1 lemon (preferably buy unwaxed organic lemons)

the juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

2 tablespoon of coconut sugar (optional/ I didn’t use any as I find the caramelised bananas add enough sweetness)

For the caramelised bananas

2 apple bananas (you can use regular bananas if you can’t find them, just cut them in half)

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

2 teaspoon of date syrup

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

 

Place the oats into a blender and blend until a a flour starts to form.

Mash the banana in a bowl and then add all the other ingredients to your blender. Blitz well until everything is combined. The consistency should be nice and thick.

Heat up a non-stick pan. Use about a ¼ cup of the mix and pour into the pan. Heat until bubbles form about three quarters of the way cooked through and then flip to cook for another minute or two. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

For the caramelised bananas:

In a frying pan heat up the coconut oil until it’s melted. Slice length way the apple bananas and add them to the pan. Sprinkle the banana with cinnamon and add the date syrup. Cook the banana for about 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown.

Stack your pancakes and place the caramelised bananas on top and grate some more lemon zest to finish it off!

 

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Raw Banoffee Pie Bites

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These little guys have been my latest obsession, they basically encompassed my favourite sweet things: chocolate, almond butter and banana ( if you don’t love them as well, seriously,what’s wrong with you?;)) They are super easy to make and they last in the freezer forever unless you polish them off in one sitting like I did 🙂

Apart from being super indulgent, rich and decadent they are super healthy too, full of protein and skin loving omegas from the nuts and the coconut oil and packed with magnesium and antioxidants thanks to the banana, dates and cacao. So plenty of reason to make these little beauties and most importantly, enjoying them!

Ingredients

For the base

  • 125g ground rolled oats
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla powder

For the banana caramel layer

  • 350g dates
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 95g almond butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • a splash of water if needed
  •  For the chocolate layer
  • 100g coconut oil
  • 60g cacao Powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla Powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup or honey

To make the base

place the oats in a food processor and grind to a flour like consistency. Add all the other ingredients and pulse until it comes together when you pinch it in your hand. If it is still too crumbly to hold together, add 1/2 – 1 tablespoons of water. Press in to a tin and place in the freezer while you make the banana caramel filling.

To make the banana caramel

Blend the dates until they form a paste and then add the other ingredients blending until a smooth caramel forms. Spread onto the base and then return it to the freezer.

 To make the raw chocolate topping

Melt the Coconut oil in a bain marie. Once melted add all the other ingredients and stir until you have a nice smooth chocolate. Pour onto the other two layers and leave to set in the freezer for at least an hour.Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before slicing to prevent it from cracking.

 

 

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Holy Mole Mexican Feast

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Serves 4-6

25g dried ancho chillies
2 large tomatoes
1 tbsp each of crushed almonds, sesame seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds
A pinch of cinnamon
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp fennel seeds
3 cloves
6 black peppercorns
3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
70g raisins
50g stale bread, torn into small pieces (I have used gluten free bread)
50g dark chocolate (I have used 70% dark chocolate)
Salt and black peppper

2 cups of cook quinoa

Cover the ancho chillies in boiling water and leave for at least 30 minutes.

Roughly chop the tomatoes and put them in a large bowl with the oregano. Lightly toast the seeds and nuts until golden brown. Add to the tomatoes. Lightly toast the spices until fragrant and grind in a pestle and mortar, or spice grinder. Add to the bowl.

In a large frying pan cook the onion in the olive oil for 10 minutes over a medium heat. Add the smoked paprika, raisins and bread. Continue to cook for 10 minutes until the raisins have puffed up and the bread is lightly toasted.

Drain the chillies, discard the stalks. Keep the soaking juice. Slice the chillies thinly and add to the pan along with the tomato-nut mix. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes. Pour in about 200ml of the chilli soaking juice or veg stock and bring up to a simmer. Cook for 10 more minutes or until you have a thick sauce. Grate the chocolate into the sauce. Season well with salt, then tip into a food processor or liquidiser. Blitz until smooth. At this point the sauce can be sieved for a smooth finish but a bit of texture may be preferable.

Roasted Cauliflower and leeks

1 large head of cauliflower
3 leeks
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
A pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cut the cauliflower into chunky florets. Clean the leeks and slice diagonally into bite size pieces. Mix everything together. Season well with salt, black pepper and cayenne.

Empty into a baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Tip on to a serving dish and drizzle with some of the mole sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Courgettes and black beans

3 courgettes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, chopped
100g cooked black beans, rinsed well
100g cherry tomatoes, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
Salt and black pepper

Chop the courgettes into chunks, heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the courgettes until lightly browned and tender. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring well to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients and warm through gently.

Serve the cauliflower and the courgettes with a generous dollop of mole sauce and some quinoa on the side.

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Happy skin reboot: Day 1 -Fiesta salad

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Since I came back from Mexico I haven’t felt quite my usual self, my digestion hasn’t been the best, I have been feeling a bit sluggish, tired and my skin has been breaking out. I am a strong believer in always listen to your body, try to read the signals that is sending you and act consequently. That’s why last week I decided to go back to basics and to my old times friends: veggies!

I have been lucky enough to have been told about the super powers of vegetables since I was a little girl; before every meal my parents will make us eat a salad, day and day out, no exclusion. Even when I really didn’t want to eat it they were adamant I wasn’t going to eat my dinner before have eaten my plate of raw veggies. 30 years on I simply couldn’t be more grateful to my parents to have instilled in me this almost therapeutic relationship with vegetables. Whenever I don,t feel at my best I just go back to eat abundant, raw, vibrant veggies and I know they will do me wonders.

I know what you are thinking, salad = boring, but these my friends are not your iceberg lettuce and cucumber salads, these are flavoursome, crunchy, goodnes power house, epic raw salads which will make you feel vibrant, full of energy and especially will make your skin glow!

I would recommend eat at least one of this salad a day for 5 days, if you are still hungry after please feel free to eat something else, this not a deprivation diet, or one of those terribly sad detox programme.if I am still hungry I would normally have maybe some brown rice, sweet potatoes or some gluten free pasta. This little plan is about adding goodness, vitamins into your diet, is not about starvation.Just eating 1 raw meal a day I garantee you you will start feeling so much more energetic and vibrant.

This salad has been inspired by my recent holiday in Mexico. Is the only salad out of the 5 which is not fully raw but nonetheless is still packed with veggies goodness. I love eating this salad with super creamy avocado hummus and I find extremely filling and satisfying. I love to go absolutely crazy with the coriander as I adore it’s fresh fragrance but you can stick with an handful. That’s the beauty of these kind of meal you can use as much as you like of the ingredients to tailor it to your personal taste.

Ingredients:

1 can of mixed beans ( like red kidney beans, black beans etc…)

1 small can of unsweetened corn

1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut into quarters

1 red pepper diced

1/2 cucumber diced

1/2 red onion finely chopped

1 red chilli finely sliced

1 sliced avocado

a bunch of coriander finely chopped

For the dressing:

extra virgin olive oil

the juice of 1 lime

For the avocado hummus:

1 can of chickpeas

1 avocado

2 tablespoon of tahini

1 clove of garlic

the juice of 1/2 lemon

water if needed

salt and pepper to taste

To make the hummus: in a food processor blend all the ingredients until a smooth cream starts to form. Scoop it out and pour into a bowl.

For the salad: drain and wash the beans and the sweet corn and place them into a bowl. Add all the chopped vegetables and top with few slices of chilli and avocado. Dress the salad with olive oil and lemon juice and serve with the avocado hummus.

 

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