walks on the beach

General conference weekend is the best kind of weekend.  A weekend filled with good times at home with family or friends, eating good food and wondering why you don’t have play glasses for your baby, because he looks an awful lot like some of the apostles.   Continue reading

No Bake Chocolate Balls / Nut Free

I’ve been spreading myself really thin lately, due to my own stubbornness and the fact that most of the food here contains msg.  Why? I don’t know.  Even the simplest of food contains msg or you just can’t find it here, not the msg, just some food, like a really nice sunflower butter or apple butter.  Occasionally I would love a little bit of convenience just to make things a bit easier  even amazon is against me and refuse to ship some of their items here. Why amazon? Why? I love you and want to buy everything from you, why do you play me like this?

Sometimes life throws you curve balls and makes you zen it out in the kitchen, while creating a whole bunch of yummies!

It all starts with the most amazing sourdough rye bread I make for Carl’s work week, this bread is just the best and the more the sourdough starter ages the better it gets.  After that I make gluten free protein brownies that’s sugar free and just amazing, sunflower butter, occasionally peanut butter, popcorn trail mix and of course my favourite snack during the week these amazing no bake chocolate balls.

These balls are my favourite little snack,  its the fastest thing to grab while taking care of Arren.  They taste like a decadent chocolate cookie,but way healthier and you don’t even have to switch on your oven!  They’re nut free and made with simple ingredients, well I guess simple for me.  I have all these ingredients on hand all the time.  You can make these gluten free, by using gluten free oats.

Now, prepare your mouth for the best treat ever.

NO BAKE CHOCOLATE BALLS27 Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 – 5 tbsp cocoa powder or chocolate protein powder (  I usually add protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp water – optional

Directions

Add the oats to the food processor and ground until course.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until a firm ball forms.  If its having trouble blending add a tbsp water.

When done start forming balls.  I come out with 27 balls, but  I start of small and end up getting bored and have bigger ones at the end. Refrigerate.

Sit back and enjoy these little treats.

Date Energy Bites

If you know me you  know I hate gluttony, its just one of my pet peeves, I’m all about moderation and eating a healthy diet that’s light on the planet; I want to leave behind a light footprint on the planet.  As light as I can in this day and age.  You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, and why I’m talking about this on a date recipe?  Well, it all started with Tim Noakes.  Man, I don’t know the guy, but boy do I dislike him.  If you don’t know who he is he created the banting diet.  A diet I feel is not environmentally light and is just really damaging to the planet.  After receiving a cookbook of this guy as a gift and trying to see if there is actually anything I would make in the book, I just got more irritated.  I’ve made a few banting recipes for my parents in law who are on this diet, and I just hated it.  Its so heavy on dairy and meat, it even made Carl sick when he ate it.  I mean 3 cups of cheese, mixed with another cup of soft cheese all mixed in with an insane amount of eggs and just to top it all off lets just add a truck load of meat, I don’t know if its just me, but that does NOT sound healthy to me.  I mean, hello cholesterol?  As I was flipping through this cookbook, wondering whats wrong with this guy, I came across a date ball recipe.  I stopped because you know I didn’t think date balls required a lot of ingredients.

Boy, was I wrong!

As I went through the ingredients list, my anger for this man just reached a level I didn’t think  it could reach.  Eggs in date balls? Cream in Date balls? Why does everything have to contain eggs with this guy! I don’t think eating such a large animal product diet is good for the planet, we all share this planet and  I think his diet is so popular here, because people here don’t want to eat consciously and think about where their food came from.  The idea of skipping meat for one meal is impossible to some.  Yes, you will lose weight on a gluten free sugar free, high fat and meat diet, but what about your environmental impact.  Okay! Okay! rant over.  I’ve just been mulling about this for so long and felt like I Just needed to get it off my chest.  So lets get on to this recipe.

Medjool dates are just the best thing to ever come out of nature.  Its natures delicious candy, that I now believe really helped me with my short labour time ( 1 hour and 5 minutes).  These little energy bites actually got created thanks to my intense labour preparation.  I was expecting the standard 6 hours at least labour, so for weeks I was preparing little energy boosters to keep Carl and my midwives going.  During the last couple of weeks of waiting for my baby to arrive ( better late than never I suppose), I was starting to get a little tired of waiting and craved a whole lot of comfort food.  Lamingtons was one of those cravings.  I was out of gluten free flour and really didn’t feel like baking and decided medjool dates are yum, but could be yummier.  Anything dipped in chocolate pushes even the most boring recipes over the edge.

These are really easy to prepare, the hardest thing is making a double boiler to melt some chocolate or you can just use a microwave, will keep your energy up and give you the boost you need with a whole lot of delicious to go with.

DATE ENERGY BITES – 10 bites

 

Ingredients

  • 10 soft medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, the darker the better. We like 85% – 90%
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 10 roasted almonds

Directions

Place an almond in every medjool date.

Place the dates in the freezer for 5 minutes, it will make the chocolate stick easier.

Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl and microwave until soft.  Remove and stir until completely melted.

Dip the dates into the chocolate, get it completely coated and dip in coconut flakes, get it completely coated.

Place on plate and chill in the fridge until set.

I tried these with different toppings like chia seeds, with just the chocolate and goji berries, but the coconut flakes one is my favourite.  Feel free to experiment until you find a topping you just can’t get enough of.

Healthy Date Squares (sugar free, gluten free, vegan)

Date squares are one of those recipes that make me think about my grandmother, she would always have date squares, fig bars and jam cookies at her house and as a snooty little kid, I always wondered what her deal was.  I mean where is the chocolate? why is she always shoving a jam like spread in all the sweet things and why can’t we just dip this in chocolate? I remember never wanting to try her “healthy” weird things, but when I got older I tried a date square and man oh man! did I love it! the sweetness of the dates with the buttery crust had my head spinning in a whirlwind of love.  Back in the day I classified that as me being healthy, and with such large quantities of sugar and butter, you know its really not that good for you.

As I’ve been trying to eat my large quantities of dates a day for an easier labour ( I’ll let you guys know if it works) I’ve gotten really tired of eating it in oats or smoothies.  I just started not being able to hit my date quota, so these little healthy date squares are my solution!  They are a tasty healthy treat filled with good for you ingredients, made with a small amount of sweetener in the crust, because come one guys! Dates are sweet enough! and coconut oil instead of butter.  its the perfect little grab and go snack that everyone will love.

HEALTHY DATE SQUARES16 squares

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats ( gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds ( I just add flax seeds to the rolled oats while blending it to give it a nice roughage kind of consistency)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp xantum gum
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Directions

In a bowl add the dates, 1 tsp vanilla and boiling water.  Stir around until covered.  Let sit.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ or 180 degrees C.

Add the oats, flax seeds, cinnamon  and salt to a food processor.   Process until you’ve reached the consistency of a wholewheat flour, not to flour like.

Add the sweetener, xantum gum, vanilla and coconut oil.  Pulse until it forms a dough.

Grease a pan.  Take 2/3 of the dough and press it tightly into the pan, making sure its nicely pressed.  Wipe down your processor and add the dates mixture,   Pulse until smooth.

Spread the date mixture over the oats mixture, spreading evenly.  Take the rest of the oat dough and spread it over the date mixture and keep pressing it down.

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Bake for 20 – 35 minutes or until lightly golden all over.  Remove from oven and let completely cool before cutting.  Serve.

Flavourful Aquafaba Mayonnaise

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everyone in the vegan/ allergy world has heard about the miracle that is aquafaba! If you haven’t its okay, my dear little rock dwelling friend, now you know about the miracle that is basically bean juice…..Yes, bean juice, or the brine left behind in a can of chickpeas for the less dramatic.  This miracle brine has been a lifesaver for egg-free cooking, being able to be whipped up to make light and fluffy meringue, macaroons, replacing eggs in cakes and baked goods and making the most amazing thick egg free mayonnaise.

This flavourful mayonnaise is something you definitely need to try.  Garlicky with  the perfect amount of tang, this is a recipe to keep bookmarked and keep making over and over. Its also really versatile, play around with it until you have something that makes your taste-buds sing, if you like more garlic.  Add it! This is a perfectly flavoured recipe for me, but we all like things differently.  Add some herbs for a fancier mayonnaise or an added taste kick.  Just be prepared to feel like a cooking genius, this recipe is that easy to whip up, but will impress all your friends and family.

FLAVOURFUL AQUAFABA MAYONNAISEserves 16 

Aquafaba  Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp aquafaba, the leftover brine from a can of chickpeas, or freshly cooked beans.
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 – 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp liquid sweetener
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 – 1 cup oil ( I used olive oil, but sunflower or canola would work)

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a blender or food processor.

While blending on low-medium, start adding the oil slowly.  About a tablespoon at a time, until you’ve used up all the oil.   The mixture will thicken up fast.

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Taste and adjust seasoning.

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Transfer to a bowl or glass jar.  Store in fridge for 2 weeks.  Use on everything!