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

All things sweet

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So the recipe this week is surely the furthest I can get from becoming healthy, being vegan, gluten free or sugar free!  Out of the five weeks of baking I do for the parents at Infant Massage this recipe is the most sugar laden … and probably the most irresistible of them all.  Herself also loves it when I make these because it is the one week she doesn’t have a little (vegan) brother competing for the left overs … just her father at the end of the day 🙂

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Drying the covers for the upcoming class.

So as the covers (from the duvet that everyone sits/lies on) have been washed and are getting blown dry on the line ready for Wednesday’s class I thought I would share what I made last week for everyone. They are in hot demand and so in between guarding cookies from certain wee hands, offering them at Infant massage and letting herself and her father enjoy the leftovers I only just remembered about a photo as the last few were about to be devoured  ……. herself did suggest that I make more so you could all see a full batch, fresh and warm, though I have declined that offer 🙂

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Even this photo was hard to get with little hands trying to nab them!

It is actually thanks to herself that we have this recipe as she found it many years ago when researching how the chocolate chip came into existence ….. Thanks Ruth Wakefield …. so I guess it is only fair that she gets the spoils.  It has been a rare treat ever since and having two vegans on the bus has made it even rarer and it has been over a year now since these beauties were fragrancing -yes, it is a real word – our wee bus.

Though it is sugar laden you can reduce some of this by using 90% chocolate or reducing the sugar if you are so inclined.  You can also add in some nuts to replace some of the chocolate.  Another version I have tried was with white chocolate, which I bought by mistake, which everyone loved.  I’ll leave it to you to play with and enjoy though I’d love to hear about any good variations you find.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

This is half the original recipe and still makes around 45 biscuits.

1 1/8 Cup Flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

125 gm softened butter (1/2 Cup)

3/4 Cup raw/brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 large egg

1 Cup of broken up dark chocolate (the darker the better and the less sugar). One block is more than enough.

  • Pre-heat oven to 190 C
  • Melt the butter and beat with the sugar until blended
  • Add the egg and vanilla essence, mixing well.
  • Mix in the flour and baking soda.
  • Add chocolate in and stir well into the dough
  • Drop teaspoon sized balls of dough onto a lined tray (baking paper is good).  They will flatten and expand on baking so leave room for this
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies begin to flatten and brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack …. if you can wait that long!!

Hope this finds you enjoying life’s sweet treats, happy, healthy and content.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz/

Paraoa Panana – Banana Bread

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It is Infant Massage time again and that means bringing out the old favourites as well as a few new recipes to keep those parents nourished.  I love teaching the classes and seeing all the little ones soaking up good massage vibes as well as the parents enjoying my baking. It is definitely one of the best bits of my job ……. and as for themselves as they always get the left overs, so they think it is the best bit of my job too!

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Infant Massage in action last year

Last week was the first session and I decided to go for good old Banana Bread (Paraoa Panana in Māori).  This recipe is a repeat however it really is so easy and so yummy that it is worth bringing it to the foreground again 🙂  I found this particular little treasure in a free magazine from a local health shop a few years back and since our bus-hold (thinking this is our version of house-hold) love banana bread it has been a very well used recipe.

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A few pieces left over for themselves

It comes from a book by Daisy Dagg and Amber Vito called Kai for Kids eBook and while the original recipe had half honey and half maple syrup in it we have just replaced the honey with all Maple Syrup without much change to the flavour.  I’m sharing the gluten version this time however we have used GF flour with success in the past (see post from Feb last year) …. in fact the only reason I’m not baking it for the class with Gluten Free Flour is so that I won’t scoff all the left overs this time!! 😉

Paraoa Panana (or Vegan Banana Bread)

1 Cup Wholemeal flour

3/4 Cup self raising flour (or regular white then add 1 tsp baking powder to the recipe)

1/3 C melted coconut oil

1/2 C pure maple syrup

4 mashed bananas (large)

1/2 C shredded / desiccated coconut

2 Tb chia seeds

1/2 C rice milk (or other milk alternative)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • Melt coconut oil in a pot and stir in the maple syrup, rice milk, vanilla essence and mashed banana
  • Add in the chia seeds and stir well
  • Add in all the other dry ingredients and mix until blended well
  • Pour into a baking paper lined tin and bake at 180 Celsius for around 35-40 mins or until a cake-tester (skewer) comes out clean.
  • Cool and Enjoy 🙂

Hope this finds you surrounded by those who love and believe in you, enjoying the present moment and nibbling on something nice.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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

GF, DF Carrot Cake

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It is wonderful being back in our old stomping ground for the past week and we are looking forward to more of the same over the next 4 weeks.  We immediately noticed just how much warmer winter was up here though I have to say it doesn’t take long to acclimatize.  One of the best things about being here is catching up with friends.  I love watching the kids happily playing with their friends and over the past weekend we even managed to combine that with an overnight stay at the beach front … life can be hard! 😉

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Our overnight stop by the beach.

The real reason we are here though is for me to do some more teaching of Infant Massage (Yay!!) and with that comes lots of baking.  I always find it interesting the mix of people I have in each group and the dietary needs of each group.  As I like to make something yummy for our morning tea breaks I try to cater to those needs and so all the old GF and DF favourites come out to be baked like my all time favourite ….. carrot cake.

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Yummy with or without icing.

I got this recipe from a book a purchased many years ago in Ireland called ‘Eat with Joy on a Wheat-free Gluten-free diet’  By Ann O’ Dowd Fogary.   I have adapted it to be dairy free since then so below is what I have adapted the recipe to and I have put the original ingredients in brackets.  If you are keen on GF and DF recipes though I would definitely recommend her book as it is packed with great recipes for all kinds of meals and treats.

GF, DF Carrot Cake

100 gm rice flour

25 gm cornflour

1.5 tsp GF baking powder

2 eggs

75 gm  Runny honey (sugar)

100 gm Coconut oil (Butter)

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground clove

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

  • Melt the coconut oil (butter) and honey (sugar) together
  • Add the dry ingredients
  • Add the eggs and mix until light and fluffy
  • Add carrot.
  • Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake at 190 C for 30-45 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.

 

Hope this finds you enjoying the wonderful flavours of life!

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

The Easter Crash

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Well we made it! … Through Easter and the chocolate feasting that seems to come with it I mean.  It is almost unavoidable these days and even though during the rest of the year themselves eat more consciously (reading labels together and avoiding palm oil products where possible and things with heaps of sugar in it) at Easter this all goes out the window!  The bright wrappers, cheap and cheerful chocolate along with offered eggs from all manner of sources (shops, family, friends, guide group and businesses) win out every time …. it is irresistible it seems even for the grown ups in the family 😉

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Some of the Easter stash.

What is Easter after all without a chocolate gorge and feeling sick?!!  Well of course there are other things but when you’re little I’m pretty sure the chocolate aspect of Easter takes precedence.  As parents we have turned and blind eye and vowed to start a fresh after the feeding frenzy has finished.  It is funny though watching their eating habits, and sometimes not so funny when you see your own habits mimicked, watching the saver and the scoffer, the giver and the taker.  Chocolate can surely bring out the best and the worse in people and sometimes both!  To be fair though there has been a lot of sharing with others, thankfully, as they have been playing with new made friends over Easter.

I confess I haven’t helped much either as I have been preparing morning tea snacks for my Infant Massage Course.  This week I decided to make chocolate chips cookies and not that much is left over for themselves to sample it will mark the beginning of weening off chocolate for a while for everyone in this here bus!  These cookies are from a recipe herself found while researching the inventor of chocolate chips (Ruth Wakefield) and we have been using it as a special treat ever since.  Hardly becoming healthy I know … but I’ll share anyway 🙂

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Herself’s poster from 2 years ago about the invention of chocolate cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

This is half the original recipe and makes around 45 biscuits.

1 1/8 Cup Flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

125 gm softened butter (1/2 Cup)

3/8 Cup raw sugar

3/8 Cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 large egg

1 Cup of broken up dark chocolate (the darker the better and the less sugar). One block is more than enough.

  • Pre-heat oven to 190 C
  • Melt the butter and beat with the sugar until blended
  • Add the egg and vanilla essence, mixing well.
  • Mix in the flour and baking soda.
  • Add chocolate in and stir well into the dough
  • Drop teaspoon sized balls of dough onto a lined tray (baking paper is good)
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies begin to flatten a little and brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Hope this finds you healthier than we are at the moment, enjoying life and family.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

Infant Massage classes

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One of my big dreams about living in a bus and being on the road was to be able to offer my Reflexology skills and Infant Massage Instructor skills to some of the smaller communities around New Zealand.  It seems that often these communities get the short end of the straw as courses are prominently offered in larger centres.  Thankfully with the help of Kaikoura Community Hub I can!!

Starting tomorrow I will be teaching a 5 week Infant Massage course here in Kaikoura and I am so, so excited! 🙂  The benefits of the course and the enjoyment factor are huge, with a focus on nurturing touch, respecting babies and supporting families.  Luckily for everyone reading this the International Association of Infant Massage (which is the course I’m trained in and teach) is offered in many countries around the world.

If you have an infant who is pre-crawling or know someone who does then check out your local courses …… or come to the Kaikoura one tomorrow 😉  I’ll have my yummy GF, DF and sugar free  crochet cake on offer for morning tea too.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz