Ginger-Nut Bites

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It is the final week of my Infant Massage course tomorrow and the final week of baking for all those wonderful mamas.  It has been such a lovely group and I always love seeing just how much the bubas enjoy the massage (or not some days) and grow over that time.  Themselves have also loved catching up with friends each week while I teach especially with all the amazing weather we have been having ….. well that was until Summer officially arrived on and the rain started. 🙂

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Themselves enjoying the local river.

So with the weather feeling a bit cooler I thought I would warm the insides of everyone a bit with some good old ginger-nuts.  This recipe is delicious, easy and able to be eaten raw or cooked so win/wins all round I say.  The original recipe says that it makes 8 biscuits however we usually get at least 16 and sometimes 20 out of it so obviously it is all about size.  I tend to double up the recipe to get a decent batch and because themselves love these yummy morsels it also means I have a chance to get some too!  The fact that they don’t expand on cooking does mean that you can pack them pretty close together on your tray which for us means one batch rather than two … always a bonus when your oven is a tiny bus one.

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Ready to go in the oven – with a bit of ground almond to help with the flattening part.

Gingernuts

1 C ground almonds

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 Tb black strap molasses

3 Tb maple syrup

  • Mix the almonds and ginger
  • Add the molasses and maple syrup then mix until the mixture forms a dough
  • Roll into small balls and place on tray
  • Flatten each ball with a fork (you may need to dip the fork in rice flour or ground almonds so it doesn’t stick)
  • Bake for 10-15 mins at 180C
  • Cool on the rack before devouring

Hope this finds you warm, happy and content regardless of the weather outside.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Christmassy Snacker balls

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I know, I know …… it is way too early to be thinking about Christmas!! Themselves however have had other ideas and they are super excited about it.  They have even been buying each other presents and because of their excitement they have also been giving them to each other already.  Clearly they are confident that there will be a supply of gifts coming on the actual day from us and others :).

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Seedlings in our handmade, compostable pots

All their chatter about December has started me thinking ahead though and what we are actually going to do this year which is a bit overwhelming, in the middle of work, at times. Thankfully in between all the Christmas talk they have been busy growing seedlings and getting their own garden plots ready.  Today they got the frames all built with the help of himself, and began transplanting everything in.  It has been great to see how eager they are to grow and care for their little seedlings and how excited they are to have their own gardens.  Long may it last and fingers crossed that we have some delicious fresh, garden grown peas, beetroot, lettuces and carrots for our dinners soon.

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Herself and her new māra kai (garden)

Anyway …. with another week of Infant Massage to make snacks for and themselves chatter about Christmas kai I thought I would do a bit of a twist to my usual Snacker Ball recipe (click here to see that one).  As regular supermarket cherries aren’t actually vegan due to the colouring in them I have opted for cranberries to give it a ‘cheery, red’ look.  However you could always swap them out for cherries or other fruit and even add a bit of almond essence for a more ‘christmassy’ taste.  It is one of those recipes that you can play around with easily to get it just how you and yours love it. So without further ado  ….. here it is 🙂

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Some extras for themselves

Christmassy Snackerballs

  • 1 Cup dried dates
  • 1 Cup cranberries (or other dried fruit)
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 2 Cups desiccated Coconut
  • 3 Tablespoons black chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoon psyllium husks
  • 100gms dark chocolate (broken up into small pieces)

-Soak the dates, chia seeds and cranberries in the water for 10-15 mins and then mash into a smooth paste – of course if you have a blender this is easier 🙂

-Stir in the other ingredients and mix until fully blended

-Shape the mixture into small balls (makes around 50 with this recipe) and put into a container.

-Refrigerate and enjoy

Hope this finds you all calm and without any Christmas stress mounting.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Chocolate chips cookie vegan style

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After a very wet trip to Kāpiti island today it was onto baking up a storm for week two of my Infant Massage course and enjoy the warmth of the oven as soon as we got back.  I traditionally make chocolate chip cookies for our morning tea kai this week, if there are no allergies in the group that is.  However as the first batch came out of the oven and herself (the official tester of all things non-vegan) had a taste we realised that I had used dark chocolate that was a bit too dark; that is too bitter for the sweet cookies I was aiming for.

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Kaka checking us out over on Kāpiti Island

So ……  I thought I would make a batch of another delicious chocolate chip cookies we have the recipe for and best of all himself and I could give them the taste test!  I found this little gem of a recipe thanks to Jordan Rondel and her post in a magazine within the NZ Herald.  I have only changed a few things from the original recipe due to my usual reasons; lack of ingredients, buslife, ease of baking and most importantly  …… pleasing all the different eating styles on this here bus. 🙂

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Warm out of the oven

Aside from pre-steaming of the pumpkin for mashing, then allowing it to cool, this is a really quick and easy recipe.  Those of you with pumpkin puree on your supermarket shelves may have an even quicker time of it 🙂  With himself being refined sugar free most of the time I also replaced the regular dark chocolate with some sugar free chocolate that we can get easily. It doesn’t really change the taste and of course you can always put in your favourite kind.  One of the things I really love about this recipe though is the fact that you can eat it raw or cooked. Hope it becomes one of your healthy (well mostly healthy) favourites too.

Vegan style chocolate chip cookies

  • 110gm of mashed pumpkin (I just steam some then mash)
  • 250gm ground almonds
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 75 gm maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 80 gm broken up dark chocolate (I use Well Naturally so that himself can eat it)

-Mash the pumpkin and allow it to cool fully.

-Mix in all other ingredients except the chocolate.

-Add chocolate bits and mix well.

-Roll into small balls and place on a baking tray then flatten slightly with a fork (you may need to dip the fork in some GF flour to stop the sticking.

-Bake for 10-15 mins or until golden at 160C

-Enjoy!

Hope this find you warm and dry, enjoying the little comforts of life.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Crochet Cake – DF, GF, SF delight

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My plan was to share a new recipe on here today …. that is until I got word at the 11th hour that the Infant Massage Course  I was running (through the local Women’s Centre who needs a minimum number of participants) could go ahead.  Then it was all guns blazing to organize everything, including baking some morning tea!

Kapiti Nov 2019 Infant Massage photo

Looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow 

So I thought I would share, and make, an old favourite to take the pressure off a bit.  This cake got its name after I continually made it for a series of crochet ‘catch-ups’ we were having as a safe option for the GF amongst the group.  It is in fact a very simple and delicious gluten free, diary free and sugar free cake which, if served warm, can also be used as a yummy dessert.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as everyone else does …. it has sparked a big discussion between themselves now that we have happy chickens producing our eggs.  Are eggs, produced by happy hens, which occur regardless of what we do (a bit like fruit on a tree) allowable on a vegan menu?   I think that debate will go on for a bit!!

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Crochet Cake – aka diary free, gluten free, sugar free delight

1.5 Cups dates

1.5 Cups of boiling water

1/2 Cup Rice Bran

2 eggs

2 ripe bananas – mashed

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp GF baking powder (2 parts cream of tartar, 1 part baking soda, 1 part arrowroot)

1 Cup rice flour

1/2 Cup desiccated coconut

  • Soak dates in the boiling water for 10-15 mins (in a large bowl) before mashing into a smooth thick paste.  If this is still a bit watery you can heat it slightly.
  • Mix in olive oil to the date paste and stir until blended.
  • Add eggs and bananas to date/olive oil mixture and mix until blended fully.
  • Add all the remaining dry ingredients and mix until everything is blended.
  • Line a cake tin with baking paper and pour in the mixture.
  • Bake at 180C for 50-60 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Near the end of baking you may want to cover the cake with tin foil to allow it to keep cooking without the top getting too dark. It does take a while to get it fully baked.
  • Enjoy warm with yogurt/whipped cream or allow to cool on a rack to enjoy later.

Hope this finds you enjoying lots of natural sweetness in your life and sunshine to warm your days.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Veggie Flatbread

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After a week of off and on rain is has been nice being in the garden a little, watching the strawberries turn red, the washing blowing on the line, themselves gardening and the chickens scratching.  Yes …. after what felt like an eternal wait for themselves we have got ourselves a little brood.

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The latest addition to the whānau

There was so much discussion about breeds and so much searching that I thought they would never decide however in the end, due to their first picks not being available, they went for a brown shaver each. In the meantime I had posted on FB about bantams and someone replied, so we quickly went from no chooks on Wed, to two on Thursday then four on Saturday!  They are taking their time getting used to each other, tending to stick in their pairs for now 🙂  I don’t think the Shavers had been outside at all so the first couple of days for them was quite funny to watch as they discovered wind, sun, rain, bird song and of course themselves snuggling them like crazy.

Anyway onto the recipe you say … and I shall.  This week is a great one for using up leftover veggies.  I have been experimenting with a biscuit recipe that called for mashed pumpkin and ended up with loads of leftovers.  Bread is one of my big loves, even though the feeling isn’t always mutual, so what better to make than flatbreads to get a bit of a doughy fix.  It is another super easy one that you can adapt to suit the tastes of your whānau (family).  I used mashed pumpkin and buckwheat flour this time however I have also made kumara and rice flour ones for a sweeter version and also plain old spud ones. Of course the flour you use is also interchangeable for those gluten munchers among you 🙂

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Frying flatbreads in the pan

They don’t take long to fry up if you already have the cold mashed veg so are great for an on the spot snack or addition to any meal … even breakfast.  Themselves really love them and heap all sorts of toppings on.  I’m sure you’ll find them a hit in your household too.  I haven’t put any amounts in this recipe as it really just depends on what you have …… any amount works as long as you get the doughy consistency to be able to shape your ‘discs’ for frying.

Veggie Flatbread

  • Mashed Veg (kumara, pumpkin, potatoe or any combo)
  • GF flour (buckwheat or rice works well)
  • Oil – for cooking)
  • Salt and/or herbs (personal taste to dictate here)

-Add salt and/or herbs into the mashed veg as you desire.

-Mix in enough flour with the mashed veggies to form a soft dough. It may still be a little sticky but this will work out with a bit of flour as you form into discs.

-Spoon or grab out balls of dough which you can then flatten (going around in your hand) into discs, using more flour to help. If the dough is soft and sticky then make a little thicker.

-Fry in the pan with a little bit of oil if desired until brown on each side.

-Enjoy with salad bits or whatever your favourite topping is 🙂

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Quick and Easy Pasta

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I had great plans for getting on here over the past few weeks with recipes to share, honest I did.  However, as life sometimes goes, nothing really panned out how it should.  The recipes either went slightly wrong or the end effect was not quite as delicious as the picture had you believe.

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Enjoying the garden in lieu of jobs I should be doing!

Aside from that life took over again as we celebrated our youngest’s birthday, celebrated our youngest great nephew’s birthday, caught up with family and remembered my mum on the first anniversary of her death.  It has been a whirlwind of activities and emotions which has seen me tend to coast through each day rather than set a plan. Trying out new recipes wasn’t really high on the priority list though with an upcoming Infant Massage Course in Nov I was happy for the distract ….. and the tasting opportunities 🙂

So I thought that I would at least share something with you … a very quick and easy pasta salad dish which himself stole and copied from some restaurant many years ago.  It has transformed over the years as our eating habits have changed which is just the kind of recipes I love.  Now instead of regular pasta and feta we have plonked in GF pasta and tofu along with whatever mixture of veg, olives and tomatoes take our fancy.  It really is an easy one to do and great if you have to prepare a meal ahead of time as you can have it cold or warm and as everything is pretty much optional you can be creative and make it just how you and yours like.

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Ready to serve

Stolen Pasta Delight

  • Packet of Fusilli – GF or regular
  • Red onion
  • Capiscum
  • Tofu (can replace with feta and add in last)
  • Fresh tomatoes  (chopped into large cubes)
  • Olives
  • Olive oil (for cooking in and drizzling on afterwards if you wish)
  • Zucchini (chopped)
  • Mushrooms
  • Anything else you want to pop in 🙂
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Dried Italian Herb Mix

-Boil the pasta until it is el dente, strain and leave to cool

-Fry up the onion, mushrooms, capsicum and zucchini until they are close to being s

-Add in the  fresh tomatoes and tofu with a little bit of Dried Italian Herb mix and continue to fry off until you can see the tomato is cooked.

-Remove from the heat and blend gently with the pasta and other ingredients (olives, sun dried tomatoes, feta etc).

-Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil leaves and drizzle a bit more oil on if you wish.

-Enjoy

Hope this find you happy, healthy and enjoying each day as it comes.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Party time, Chocolate cake time

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And just like that our youngest is another year older! Yes, it is party time in this household and as he is really into Stars Wars at the moment it is a themed one for the first time.

I have to confess that we’re not really the ‘go all out’ type of family over birthdays, it is usually a quiet family occasion with maybe some close friends. However, after a fairly trying and difficult year it was really nice to have something happy and positive to focus on after all the other rubbish that has been going on.  Themselves have been finding Star Wars things left, right and centre lately where we would normally not have noticed them at all ….. like garden ornaments in our local hardware store 🙂

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Our hardware shop find … himself made the light-saber to make it look all the more authentic.

So we have been decorating, preparing and baking up a storm for our little gathering.  I have to admit that I’m feeling a bit smug at actually making the requested storm-trooper head cake look like a storm-trooper head …… there were a few nail-biting moments I can tell you.  Thankfully with a good vegan chocolate cake recipe, a little thought before hand and a free day put aside we got there 🙂

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The cake all finished

Himself has been sugar free and gluten free (along with vegan) for a while now, he is so much better at sticking to his principles than I would ever be, however for his big day he decided that a bit of gluten and sugar were needed to produce a super yummy cake for all.  I thought I had shared this recipe a while back however since I can’t find it I will share again.  It is a great vegan cake which you can adapt to make GF, sugar free or loaded up with Gluten and sugar 🙂 This cake doesn’t rise a huge amount so, because we needed a bit of depth, we decided to create two and layered them up with jam in between.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • 1 &1/2 Cups of flour (you can use GF premixed flour too)
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar (we have also reduced this to 1/4 C, used maple syrup instead & used dextrose)
  • 1/8 Cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Cup cold water
  • 1/2 Cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 Tb white vinegar

-Mix all the dry ingredients together.

-Add the water, oil and vanilla essence in and mix until smooth

-Add the vinegar in and stir thoroughly

-Pour into a baking paper lined tin

-Bake at 180 Celcius for 20-25 mins or until the cake tester comes out clean.

-ENJOY

 

Hope this finds you celebrating your own milestones and may the force be with you 🙂

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz