Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons

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It is funny just how much I use coconut in my recipes considering I have always thought of myself as not enjoying coconut things. Anyway …. it does seem to be a go to sweet addition to many recipes which allow for taking out sugar or other fillers.  I think all of my offerings, bar one, for morning tea during my 5 week infant massage course have coconut added!  Not that anyone seems to mind and this week my offering of chocolate peppermint macaroons was a bit of a hit so I thought I would share it one here for everyone to find.

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All that is left from a batch of 30!

I did get this recipe, before I adapted it a bit, from Hungry Cub.  She had shared a delicious raspberry recipe however, in usual form for me, because I did not have all the ingredients I opted for a chocolate peppermint one.  Mine look no way near as beautiful or perfect as hers either ….. I tend to go for the natural, just chucked together look it seems and not just in my baking  either ;).  Anyway (looks aside) they taste yum, are very easy to make and best of all they are dairy free and gluten free!

Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons

2 Cups of shredded coconut

1 1/4 Tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 Tablespoons runny honey

a few drops of peppermint essence

2 egg whites

For the coating – optional

50gm 90% dark chocolate (this is dairy free)

1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 C
  • Mix the coconut and cocoa together and mix well.
  • Add the honey, vanilla and peppermint essence into the the coconut mixture and make sure it is well blended.
  • Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks
  • Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  • On a baking paper lined tray put teaspoonful size piles of the coconut mixture and bake for 10-12 mins or until they are browning a little on top.
  • Once the macaroons are cool fully melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler (a small bowl over a pot of boiling water is my method).
  • Dip the base of each macaroon into the chocolate and place on a baking paper lined tray to set.  If you have extra you could also drizzle some chocolate over the top of the macaroons for an extra chocolaty treat.
  • Place the tray into the fridge to set fully and store there until serving or in-between servings if they last that long!
  • Enjoy

Well that is it for this week.  Until next time when I will probably share some Vegan recipe we are trying, now that my boy has decided that is his preferred eating, I hope this finds you healthy, happy and enjoying all the sweetness life has to offer.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Easy Gluten Free Bread

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I have tried a variety of recipes for Gluten Free Bread it has to be said …. all with varying degrees of disaster!  I am a lazy cook by nature.  It needs to be fairly basic with not much brain power required.  It needs to be quick and easy.  I need to have the ingredients in the cupboard or readily available at the local shops.  Yes … I’m sure the sour dough, gluten free bread is delicious and very edible however I am almost guaranteed to forget about feeding the starter and it is way too much thought needed by me in advance of actually getting to eat.

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Fresh out of the oven!

Then low and behold a miracle occurred!!  Yes … I’m fairly easy to ‘wow’ when it comes to food.  While down at my local organic shop the other week I noticed a recipe sheet for Gluten Free Bread that seemed to tick most of my boxes.  Mix, cook and eat all on the same day. 🙂  Turns out it is also a pretty good loaf of GF bread too!

Thought I would share it here for you all to try and let me know your thoughts.  It lasts for a few days pretty well if stored in an air tight container.  I even tried freezing a few slices to toast at an even later date with success and without it all falling apart on me.  Sorry to the original recipe writer as the shop didn’t source it and then I have done my usual adaptations.

Gluten Free Bread

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 Tbsp Dried Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Cups Warm Water
  • 1 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Chickpea Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
  • 8 tsp chia seeds
  • 8 tsp boiling water
  • Sprinkle of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

– In a large bowl whisk the water, yeast and honey and leave for 10 minutes to activate.

– Add all dry ingredients apart from chia seeds and mix well

– Mix chia seeds and boiling water then add to bread mixture with the oil.

– Mix well and pour into a lined bread tin.

– Leave to rise for 10-15 mins.  It doesn’t rise much on baking so if you want a bigger loaf then leave it to rise longer before cooking.

– Bake at 170 C for 45 minutes.

-Enjoy!!

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying some warm bread. 🙂

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

GF, DF Griddle Cakes

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These are super easy and fast to make and delicious!  Herself loves making pancakes on the weekends and since they don’t really sit well with me I thought I would create my own GF and DF version.  I have to say that after playing around and trying numerous mixtures of flours these Griddle cakes are the best mix I have managed.  Basically I have swapped the flours and milks to make a basic pancake recipe gluten and dairy free so I’m sure there are a million and one other versions online if these don’t tickle your fancy.

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Warm and ready for breakfast.

They are thick (the mixture is thick so the cakes are too as the mixture doesn’t run) and just the right taste to be able to use as a toast or pikelet substitute.  I also cooked these in coconut oil, something new for me I have to say, which actually made them all the better.  I have had them for breakfast with spreads, for breakfast with a poached egg and for lunch with some salad.  As with most GF things though they are best used on the day they are made however they can be made in the morning and still tasting good at lunch.  Actually, to be completely honest,  they haven’t lasted beyond lunch for me to know if they would be good after this!

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Just as delicious with lunch.

Anyway … enough chat. Here is the recipe.

GF, DF Griddle Cakes (makes 12-15)

1/3 Cup Rice Flour

1/3 Cup Buckwheat Flour

1/3 Cup Coconut Flour

1 Cup Rice Milk

1 Egg

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until they are well blended.
  • Heat a cast iron pan (griddle) and put some coconut oil in.
  • Spoon in the mixture and flatten a little into a round shape.  I fitted about 3 cakes into the pan at a time.
  • Cook until there are air bubbles/pockets appearing on the surface and then flip.
  • Remove when they are browned on both sides.
  • Enjoy!

It really is that simple.  As I said before there are probably heaps of other alternatives to these that you can find online however why not play around and get your own ‘sweet’ mixture?  They are a great, quick ‘whip up’ meal when time is short and a yummy afternoon treat with jam too if need be.

Hope this finds you enjoying life to the fullest.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

Crochet Cake – DF, GF & SF delight

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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.  After having to prepare some shared food for a course the kids were attending I realised that I was yet to share this  recipe on here (well I think so anyway).  So here goes!

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Straight out of the oven

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

1.5 Cups dates

1.5 Cups of boiling water

1/2 Cup Olive oil

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 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.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

A ‘Free’ Christmas Recipe for you

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Wow…. just lit the third candle of our advent wreath so that must mean that it is time to begin thinking of Christmas Cakes!  Last year was my first sugar free Christmas and with the help of a few friends I found some great recipes for Christmas Cake.

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The sugar free, gluten free, dairy free Christmas cake I made so that I could pig out on cake!

They were both gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free and both delicious.  I thought I’d share my favourite one with you again this year.  I had planned to have tried out a new recipe that a lovely friend gave me but, well…… let’s just say that I haven’t got the ingredients yet 🙂

As soon as I’ve tried the new recipe and given it a thumbs up I’ll share.  Until then, here is one for you to try.

Free Fruit Cake.

  • 3/4 Cup Bin Inn Gluten Free Flour (this is a rice flour, tapioca and corn starch mix)
  • 2 Cups of Walnut and Almonds
  • 1 Cup Pitted Dates
  • 1/2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Cherries (ceres brand or cherryvite)
  • 1 Small Cup thinly sliced citrus rinds – grapefruit, orange etc.  (I boiled them up with some honey water to soften however if sugar doesn’t worry you then use mixed peel)
  • Handful of diced dried apricots (enough to get mixture to a better consistency)
  • 1 Cup Sultanas
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 3/4 Cup Orange Juice (natural without added sugar)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Almond Essence

Line the bottom of a 20cm cake tin with cardboard and baking paper. Preheat oven to 125°C. Finely chop dates, chop most of the nuts and cherries, leaving a few to decorate the top of the cake. Place sifted gluten free flour and gluten free baking powder in a large bowl. Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Beat eggs and orange juice together, add to mixture. Place into the lined baking tin, press down firmly. Decorate with cherries and nuts. Bake at 125°C for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the oven.

Many thanks toBinn Inn NZ for their yummy recipe.  http://www.bininn.co.nz/recipes/view/gluten-and-sugar-free-fruit-cake

Hope this finds you all stress-free in the lead up to a lovely full moon Christmas 2015.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

 

A ‘sweet’ weekend crafty crumble

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Well after a ‘sweet’ and busy weekend of being part of the Kapiti Women’s Expo I thought I would take the easy option of giving you another adapted recipe from Ann O’Dowd Fogarty’s cook book so that my Monday is a little less cluttered with things to do.

Crumble on the ready.

Crumble on the ready.

This crumble recipe is super easy and very crafty because it is pretty healthy and themselves still feel like they are getting that sugary crumble! While I usually just chuck stuff in using guess-timates I have endeavoured to use Ann’s recipe to give you amount for my adaptations.  I still think the guess-timates and ‘chuck it in’ works a treat though 🙂

When making apple crumble I tend to use eating apples (Gala is a favourite with himself so invariably that is what is used) as they stew up sweet without having to add any honey.  You can even get away with a rhubarb and apple crumble without adding anything else if the eating apples are sweet enough.  So I’ll put my adapted recipe here then I’ll post the original (with adaptations in brackets) over on the recipe page.

Crafty Crumble

50gm GF flour ( I used Edmonds as the gum helps it bind in the absence of sugar)

50gm Rice Flakes

25gm Dessicated Coconut

50gm Coconut Oil in solid form

25gm honey

25gm ground almonds – could replace with LSA 

25gm ground linseed – could replace with LSA 

  • Mix the dry ingredients together
  • add honey and solid coconut oil and rub into the dry ingredients with the tips of your fingers until it is crumbly.
  • Add more almonds/linseed/coconut/LSA (depending on your preference) if the mixture is still too moist.
  • Sprinkle on top of stewed fruit and bake at 180-200 C until the crumble is golden

As with all my recipes I invite you, actually  I encourage you, to play around until you get the taste you and your family like.  You may want more honey or maybe more coconut instead of almonds so go ahead and plonk it in. 🙂

Hope this finds you enjoying your week and seeing the sweetness in it regardless of the events around us.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz