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

Date and Coconut Snackerballs

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It isn’t just living a minimalist life on a bus that has made me reluctant to part with money for things I could ‘have a go at’ rather it is a trait that I have had my whole life and a trait which many New Zealanders share.  We feel that we can do anything and to be honest a lot of the time it is true!  Not true just for New Zealanders of course … true that many products out there on the shelves are actually pretty quick and easy to make at home.

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They don’t last long in this bus!!

An example of this was the other day when we sampled some supermarket tastings.  The person promoting these healthy coconut and date treats was very good at her job, I have to say, and I was all ready to take some home until I asked the price …. $9!! $9 for some balls of date and coconut??!! $9 for what looked like 10 balls maximum??!!  Well, yes, I am a little tight with my money but lets face it, that $9 I was going to part with was clearly paying for the packaging and promotion of the aforementioned 2 ingredient treat more than the food itself.

So home I came and ‘gave it a go’.  The results are pretty good I have to say and super easy.  Themselves have all given the batches I have made over the last few weeks their seal of approval, by consuming them all, and the only pit-fall I can see is that I can’t seem to keep up with demand. 🙂  So here it is for you and I’m sure that many of you out there already have your own similar story and recipe …. so enjoy and experiment.

Date and Coconut Snackerballs

  • 1 Cup dried dates
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 2 Cups desiccated Coconut
  • 3 Tablespoons black chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon psyllium husks

-Soak the dates 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 45 with this recipe) and put into a container.

-Refrigerate and enjoy

 

Hope this finds you all enjoying tasty treats with your loved ones.

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

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

GF Comfort Food

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Some of you will hate it with a passion, some will tolerate and others of you will love this dessert however no matter what you feel about it there is no denying that Sago is a economical and easy gluten free ingredient!

Sago is one of those things that has been around for centuries and used in many cultures and yet ignored completely by most of us due to the horror of having it served up night after night as a dessert.  Personally I’ve only just discovered it for my own use a year or so ago when themselves asked me what it was and then wanted to try it.  It be sure you need to have a love for carbs as there is little else in Sago (it is starch extracted from a plant) which for me makes it a perfect ‘healthy’ comfort food!! A little does go a long way for me though as the whole texture thing can be a bit much 🙂

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Here are two simple recipes (one from Edmonds Cookbook and one from Olwen Anderson) for you to try if you want an economical, easy and tasty gluten free, refined sugar free and diary free dessert over the upcoming cooling nights.

Sago Pudding – Edmonds recipe

3 Tablespoons Sago Pearls (you could also use Tapioca Pearls)

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 teaspoon vanilla Essence

2 cups Rice Milk (Vitasoy rice milk with chickpea gives a slight custard taste)

-Mix all in a in an oven proof dish

-Cover and bake at 150 C for 2 hours.  Stir regularly during the cooking especially in the first hour.

-Best served warm

Coconut and Sago Dessert – Olwen Anderson recipe

As taken and adapted from Olwen Anderson’s website – this is a 1/2 recipe of what she had

3/8 Cup Sago Pearls

1 Cup Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Water

Honey to sweeten as desired

– Mix Sago, coconut milk and water in a pot and leave to soak for 30 mins

-Stirring constantly bring the mixture to the boil and cook for 10 mins.  You will need to stir to prevent sticking as the mixture gets very thick very quickly.

-Taste and add honey sweeten to your taste.

-Yum warm or cold 🙂

Hope this finds you enjoying your day.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

GF, Dairy and refined Sugar free Banana Cake

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Many years ago in Ireland I purchased a great book ‘Eat with Joy on a Wheat-free Gluten-free diet’  By Ann O’ Dowd Fogary.  Since then I have used and loved her book – carrying it across countries – partly because 50% of the recipes are also dairy free and mostly because her recipes are so yummy and adaptable.

In cupcake form which is easier when heading out with the kids.

In cupcake form which is easier when heading out with the kids.

This recipe is an adaptation of her Carrot Cake recipe and it is one that I regularly make.  It doesn’t rise huge amounts so I usually use a loaf tin to bake it in or it can be made into cupcake size cakes. If you are making the cupcakes I haven’t actually timed it sorry as I just go with smell and a test – usually around 12-15 mins though:) So without further ado here is the cake recipe.

GF, Dairy and refined Sugar free Banana Cake

100 gm rice flour

25 gm cornflour

1.5 tsp GF baking powder

2 eggs

75 gm runny honey

100 gm coconut oil

2 tsp ground ginger

2-3 mashed bananas

  • Melt the coconut oil and honey together
  • Add the dry ingredients
  • Add the eggs and banana
  • Mix well to ensure no lumps
  • Pour into a lined loaf tin or patty tins if making cupcakes
  • Bake at 190 C for 30-45 mins (cake) or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Enjoy

Hope this finds you filling your bodies with delicious healthy goodness.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Foodie?

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Lately a few people have called me a ‘foodie’, in the nicest possible way of course, however this is definitely not how I see myself.  It made me wonder then what a ‘foodie really is, what boxes do you need to tick off to become part of this group or to have this label in life?

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

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

To me a ‘foodie’ is someone who cooks a lovely meal even if it is only for them where as I would happily munch on cereal or just have boiled rice every meal if my family allowed. A ‘foodie’ is a person who reads the recipes word for word in a magazine and wonders where they can source the ingredients while I quickly glance at the photo and wonder who could make it for me.

A ‘foodie’ is a person who has amazing kitchen gadgets that cook, grind, mix, and just about everything in between while I only use my big mixer (not even sure what it is called) for making face cream. A ‘foodie’ is someone who buys cookbooks and loves getting cookbooks for presents whereas I would much rather have a book on health. A ‘foodie’ is someone who adds a touch of ginger to their kombucha while I remain astounded that I actually make kombucha at all!

My kombucha, which I am so proud of for actually making.

My kombucha, which I am so proud of for actually making.

A ‘foodie’ is someone who has their evening meals thought out and organized with a smile while I linger in the dread of knowing that each afternoon I will have to produce something edible for my family, which is probably why I have encouraged herself to start cooking meals already!

All of the things above sum up what a real ‘foodie’ is to me and I am surrounded by enough of these lovely people to know that I am not one of them. Into health I may be and if that involves food then well….. I guess I can cope with that.  Maybe there should be some term for a half hearted person interested in making food, when they feel the urge 🙂 In my eyes I am as far as there is to go from a true ‘foodie’, maybe others see me a little differently though and to them I say ‘thanks’. 🙂

Hope this finds you discovering great parts of life you never knew you where part of.

Arohanui

Y