biscuits cookies & sweets

5 ingredient almond & tahini cookies (vegan)

17th October 2018

Deliciously moor-ish satisfying cookies that are chewy on the inside (due to the fluid stretchy nature of tahini) and crispy, crumbly on the outside (due to the almond meal).

~the relief and release of autumn

5 ingredient almond & tahini cookies

Makes 15 cookies

Recipe from Cook Republic.

I have written this recipe as is from the link above, as most people preferred them that way.  My son and I needed more sweet, so the second and third time I baked these –

  • I added 2 Tablespoons(35g) of light brown sugar and found them just right in balancing the bitterness of the tahini.
  • Lastly, I baked them 5 minutes longer and left them in the oven for a further 20 minutes as opposed to 5 minutes.

If wanting to use unrefined brown sugar instead of the maple syrup, dissolve ½ cup sugar in ½ cup hot water and proceed with the recipe or for less sweet, ¼ cup sugar – ¼ cup water.

Almond meal is finely ground almonds. I grind whole almonds in my food processor or vita-mix.

I use a traditional brand of Tahini which is runny and smooth.

ingredients:

2 cups/225g almond meal

¾ cup/200g tahini paste

½ cup/130g maple syrup

½ tsp fine rock salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

chopped pistachio, almonds or sesame – to garnish

preparation:

Preheat the oven to 170C/340F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place the tahini, maple syrup, salt and vanilla in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly until smooth and blended. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.

Add the almond meal to the tahini mixture and mix until a rough dough forms. Allow it to sit for a few minutes for the dough to come together.

Roll 1 – 2 tablespoons (40g) of the dough in the palm of your hand into a ball. (My dough was quite oily due to the runny tahini I used). Place on the prepared tray and garnish the cookies by gently pressing the nuts or seeds on top with your fingertips. 

Bake in the pre-heat oven for approximately 10 minutes. Switch off the oven and let the cookies brown slightly in the hot oven for another 5 minutes before removing.

Cool on wire racks.

golden pistachio cardamom cookies (vegan)

15th March 2018

Because these cookies contain very little flour, they are a bit crumbly to mould.  I used a heaped round Tablespoon measure of the mixture and then flatten them out with damp fingers.  If you find the mixture sticking, dip the spoon in water and then use damp fingers to push the edges in if they are breaking away.  If you prefer a cookie crunchy on the outside and softer texture on the inside – just scoop to keep the dome-shape and skip the flattening process.  You can easily replace the sultanas with gojji or cranberries berries.

 golden pistachio cardamom cookies

Makes approx 31 cookies – two trays.

Grind your own cardamom as the taste is so much more fragrant. An easy way to do this is to place 18 cardamom pods in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder, and roughly grind. Use a strainer to sift the ground pods, discard the shells and grind bigger chunks again to a finer powder.

Inspired by these cookies and this recipe.

ingredients:

⅓ cup/60g golden sultanas

½ cup/65g raw unsalted pistachio nuts

cup/120g whole-spelt flour

1 ½ cup/130g fine regular rolled oats

3 Tblsp/25g sesame seeds

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp ginger powder

cup + 1 Tblsp maple syrup

½ cup coconut oil/olive oil

zest of two oranges

preparation:

Preheat oven 180C/350F.

Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the sultanas in a bowl, add boiling water to cover and soak for 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer, and set aside to drain well. (The extra moisture will help prevent them from burning and drying out when baking.)

Place the pistachio nuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and place in a medium bowl, along with the spelt flour, oats, sesame seeds, salt, baking powder, cardamom and ginger powder.  Mix to combine and set aside.

Melt the coconut oil over a low heat until liquid, mix with the maple syrup; whisk until emulsified.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir well, add the drained sultanas, orange zest and mix until well combined.

Use a slightly wet round Tablespoon measurement to scoop the cookie dough pressing against the side of the bowl to compact and place onto the baking sheet, flatten with damp fingers. If the mixture starts to stick, dip the spoon between intervals into the water. It is helpful to have a bowl of water nearby.

Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, rotating the baking tray halfway through. The cookies are ready to come out when they are deeply golden. Cool the cookies on a rack while you bake the rest of the dough. They will firm up when completely cool and are best eaten the day they are made.

Goodness shared by Stacey

Andreia´s coconut cookies (vegan)

16th December 2017

These delicious cookies have shreds of crunchy coconut on the outside and a soft, silky, cakey interior. They started from a cookie which Andreia from Soul Food Vegan baked for us when she was preparing lunches for the Jivana Week, I altered them slightly inspired by a coconut cookie recipe in Kim Boyce -`Good to the Grain´.

coconut cookies

Makes 28 – 30 cookies.

I tried these with different whole flours which made a heavier cookie, the all-purpose flour creates a light and silky interior which is preferable.

dry ingredients:

3 cups/220g coarse shredded dried unsweetened coconut – divided

1 cup/120g all-purpose flour

1 cup/135g coconut sugar

⅛ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp baking powder

wet ingredients:

⅓ cup melted coconut oil

½ cup/125ml almond/rice milk/coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

for the finish:

1 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut

preparation:

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Set aside.

Grind half the dried coconut in a food processor or blender for 30 seconds until it resembles fine flour. Pour into a medium bowl and add the remaining 1½ cups of shredded coconut, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and measure out a ⅓ cup. Add into a small jug or bowl along with the almond milk, vanilla essence and vinegar. Whisk to combine.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and combine well until all incorporated. Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes before moulding for easier handling and a firmer more mounded dome shape.

Scoop balls of dough about a tablespoon in size (approx 20g) and form into a round ball by rolling in the palms of your hand, as you dip one side into the coconut, flatten slightly. Gently lift out of the coconut and place them on the prepared baking trays, coconut side up, leaving about 2 inches between them.

Bake for 16 – 20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through until the coconut crust is golden and the bottom of the cookies are evenly brown. Place the second tray into the oven and bake the next round. Allow to cool completely. When freshly baked these cookies have a delicious outside crunch which softens up the longer they sit. Delicious eaten the same day, otherwise, place in an airtight container.

fig almond & orange swirl cookies (vegan)

19th March 2017

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This recipe was quite a journey.  After many attempts and too many references to mention, I persevered, as there seemed too much scrumptious potential in these cookies to give up. It felt like I was conjuring up a kind of magic, from the transformation of ingredients to the finished result – even more so due to the many attempts to get here.  I am now satisfied to share it with you.

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In Ayurveda, sultanas are considered kingly of all the fruits, figs are considered precious and Winter citrus adds colour and zest to the last of these dark and rainy days.

Figs, whether fresh or dried, are an incredibly healthy treat and have favourable levels of calcium, contain iron, potassium, manganese and vitamin B6.  They also have a high fibre content, keeping us feeling fuller for longer and have a helpful laxative effect.  When buying any dried fruit, look for organic and sulphite-free.

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fig almond & orange swirl cookies

Makes approximately 18 cookies.

Recipe inspired by here and here.

Not overly sweet, the luscious fig filling is deeply flavourful and the pastry is light and buttery. 

The filling could be replaced with any dried fruit of choice – dates would work nicely.  I used 1 cup whole almonds which I ground in a blender – blanched almonds would give a much more visually pronounced contrast between the filling and the dough.  I wanted to achieve a lighter cookie, so I used white spelt flour, but it can be replaced with whole spelt or for a gluten-free version, rice flour. 

I call this a dough but just to clarify it doesn’t handle like a normal dough – it is very fragile and easily crumbles this is why it is recommended to work between two pieces of baking paper – the end results are delicious and are worth all the fiddliness.

for the dough :

1½ cups/130g almond meal (1 cup whole almonds ground in a blender)

1 cup/120g white Spelt flour

tsp fine rock salt

¼ cup/60ml olive oil

2 heaped Tblsp brown sugar/coconut sugar

¼ cup/60ml freshly squeezed orange juice

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

for the fig paste :

180g/9 medium dried soft figs

80g/½ packed cup dried sultanas/raisins

orange zest of 1 orange

½ tsp cinnamon powder

¼ cup/60ml fresh orange juice

sesame seeds for garnishing

preparation :

Set the oven to 180C/360F.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

to make the dough :

Place in a medium bowl the almond meal, flour and salt, then whisk together. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil and sugar for a few minutes.  Add the fresh orange juice, baking powder and baking soda.  Whisk until combined – it will billow up and turn into the most gorgeous, soft, golden colour.  Slowly add to the flour and almond meal mixture, then gently combine.  The dough should be quite moist and soft. Cover and refrigerate while making the fig paste.

to make the fig paste :

Remove and discard the hard stems from the figs, chop in half, then place into a food processor, along with the sultanas, and orange zest, process until the fig is nicely broken up.  Add the cinnamon powder and pour in the orange juice. Process until it forms a thick, sticky paste and starts to come to together.  Cover and set aside.

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to assemble :

Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a piece of baking paper.  Place another piece of baking paper on top and roll out the dough into a rectangle just under ¼-inch thickness, approximately 15-x 9-inches.  (It is fine for the dough to be longer than 15-inches but makes sure it is no wider than 9 – 10 inches.  To make a neat rectangle, trim off any excess dough around the sides and press it into the corners which need more shaping.  Spoon the fig filling over the dough and spread evenly, making sure it comes all the way to the edges.

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Use the baking paper to gently roll the long side of the dough around the filling, so that it forms a neat log. Leave the seam side down as the weight of the roll seals the edge.  Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and use the outer edges of the baking paper to help press the seeds into the top of the roll and the sides, pressing any seeds which have fallen down.  The contrast between the dough and fig paste will be more pronounced after baking.  Place the log in the freezer for 20 minutes – this will make it firmer for easier cutting.

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With a sharp knife, slice into 2 cm thick pieces, wiping the knife after each cut. If wanting more of a perfectly round shape, rotate the roll after several cuts, then give them a gentle squeeze to reshape them into rounds on the tray.

Carefully transfer them to the baking tray, laying them flat, with the spiral of the fig paste facing up.

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Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through baking and bake until golden in colour,  remove from the oven.  Delicious eaten warm, or later that same day, or the next.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

chocolate-hazelnut truffles & pecan-cardamom date balls (vegan)

17th December 2016

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These make a wonderfully healthy addition to bring along to a festive celebration or wrap them up in some recycled paper, a ribbon with a little bit of nature tucked in somewhere for a well-wisher or loved one.  They are always appreciated.  Some other ideas are this homemade raw halvah or zesty mango bliss balls or these chocolate covered caramels  Or an assortment of all three!

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chocolate – toasted hazelnut truffles

You could experiment with the different variations of these chocolate balls by adding orange or lemon zest, fresh mint, peppermint essence or even delicately salted.  For a smoother consistency, grind the nuts first, and then add the rest of the ingredients.

I like how toasting brings out the rich flavour in the nuts. If wanting to keep the truffles raw skip the toasting process.

Inspired by Donna’s Date Chocolate Balls & Green Kitchen Stories

Makes about 18 – 20 balls

ingredients :

15 largeMedjooll dates, pitted

50g dried unsweetened shredded coconut

100g toasted hazelnuts/almonds

1 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

2 – 4 Tbsp cacao/carob powder

1 Tblsp water

1 tsp cinnamon powder

preparation :

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Place the hazelnuts on a tray and toast for 12 minutes, (until fragrant, careful not to burn them) roll in a clean tea towel to remove some of the skin.  The toasting brings out the warm rich hazelnut flavour.

Place all the ingredients for the chocolate-hazelnut truffles in a food processor, and pulse for about 1 minute or until the mixture comes together.  Take a small amount of the mixture and roll into small round balls.  If you are having trouble with the mixture coming together, place the dough in the  fridge for 15 minutes.  Rolls the balls in cocoa/carob powder, finely chopped toasted almond flakes or shredded coconut. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.  Or package them into a jar tied with ribbon or raffia for a holiday gift offering.

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pecan – cardamom spiced date balls

I love these bite size balls for their exotic taste!  If possible, grind your own cardamom as the taste is so much more fragrant, fresher and more intense.  An easy way to do this is place 3 tablespoons of cardamom pods in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder, and roughly grind. Use a strainer to sift the ground pods, discard the shells and grind the bigger chunks again to a finer powder.  

A recipe inspired by Anna

Makes 18 – 20

ingredients :

12 large medjool dates, pitted

50g dried cranberries/goji berries (if using goji berries roughly chop)

50g dried unsweetened shredded coconut

100g raw pecans/toasted almonds

1 Tblsp extra virgin coconut oil

2 Tblsp freshly ground cardamom

1 Tblsp water

1 tsp ginger powder/1 Tblsp grated fresh ginger

preparation :

Place all the ingredients for the pecan-cardamom truffles in a food processor, and pulse for about a minute or until the mixture comes together. Take a small amount of the mixture and roll into small round balls; half the size of a golf ball.  If you are having trouble with the mixture coming together, place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Rolls the balls in finely chopped toasted pecans or shredded coconut.  Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.  Or package them into a jar tied with ribbon or raffia for a holiday gift offering.

4V7A9372_1980x1297Goodness shared by Stacey

almond quinoa chocolate bars (vegan)

21st September 2016

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Cool softened air, full mOOn swell, falling leaves, savouring the light….

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These have been a decadent treat around here.  Loved by all.  Perfect when you need something more than a dried date or fig for a sweet after a meal.  Based on this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories – a wonderful video is included showing you just how easy they are to make.  I altered the recipe slightly, adding ¼ cup hot water to the dates when mashing them. Even though the dates I used were soft, the hot water helped in the overall consistency. Instead of pumpkin seeds, I used extra almonds and toasted them to make them snappy and to bring out their flavour. I prefer using just almonds, as their qualities are less heating than most other nuts and seeds.  You could use a carob topping instead of the chocolate, by melting down carob buttons or using this glaze.

almond butter quinoa chocolate bars - 1 (1)

almond quinoa chocolate bars

Makes 16 squares/32 bites sized squares.

ingredients:

½ cup/55 grams toasted almonds

200g soft Medjool dates – approximately 11 dates

2 Tblsp coconut oil

¼ cup/60ml hot water

1 cup/260g home-made almond butter

a pinch rock salt, optional

1 cup/30g puffed quinoa

for the chocolate topping:

100g dark chocolate

3 Tblsp dried unsweetened coconut

preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.

to roast the almonds:

Place the whole almonds on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, finely chop and set aside.

to make the almond quinoa bars:

Line a 7 x 7 – inch baking tray with baking paper, leaving 2 inches around the edges.

Remove the seeds from the dates and measure out 200 grams.  Set aside.  Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Take off the heat and add the dates into the saucepan with the coconut oil.  Add the hot water, allow to sit for five minutes to soften, then proceed to mash with a fork until smooth.  Mix in the almond butter and sprinkle over a pinch of salt, stir until it all comes together.  Add the puffed quinoa, chopped roasted almonds, incorporating everything evenly.

Using your hands or the back of a large spoon, press the mixture very tightly into the lined dish, until completely even and flat. Use the edges of the baking paper, to fold over and run your finger along the edges to create level sides and corners.  Set aside.

to melt the chocolate topping:

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Remove from heat, then using a spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the slice. Sprinkle with half the shredded coconut, leaving the other half to sprinkle on later.

Place in the freezer for at least two-four hours, until cold and firm. Using a sharp knife, cut into bite-sized squares or rectangular bars. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. The bars will keep for a month.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

amaranth almond date bars with carob (vegan)

17th February 2016

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The sun is shining!  I got to open the door to welcome breezes and beautiful silent visitors.

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These are lovely, chewy decadent bars, for a special treat that everyone loves after a hard day’s work.

Goji berries are earthy, slightly astringent and mildly sweet.  Known to be abundant in antioxidants, trace minerals, essential amino acids, Vitamin C, and beta-carotene.  Amaranth has a sweet, nutty flavour and is exceptionally high in protein and calcium.  Which makes these quite the ‘superfood bar’!

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amaranth almond date bars with carob

Makes 8 large rectangular bars/16 square

Inspiration & Recipe slightly adapted from here.

‘If popping your own amaranth feels a little challenging, you can purchase it already popped/puffed or if amaranth is hard to find, replace with popped quinoa.  The goji berries can be replaced with dried raspberries, sultanas, or any dried fruit of choice.’

ingredients for the amaranth bars:

1 cup popped amaranth

100 grams pitted, soft Medjool dates(about 5 large dates)

1 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted

½ cup almond butter, store-bought or home-made

pinch salt

zest from 1 large lemon

1 ½ tsp freshly grated ginger

2 Tblsp coconut flakes

3 Tblsp finely chopped almonds

3 Tblsp finely chopped dried goji berries plus 1 Tblsp (for garnishing)

1 Tbsp dried shredded coconut (for garnishing)

for the carob coating:

2 Tbsp coconut oil

¼ cup carob powder

¼ cup maple syrup

½ tsp vanilla essence(optional)

popping the amaranth:

Directions from ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’

‘Popping amaranth seems challenging at first, so if you burn your first batch, which I did, and the second, but by the third, I got the hang of it.  It’s easy and fun.  Once you get the temperature of the pan correct, the popping happens fast (in about 15 seconds).  You need to remove the popped grain from the pot immediately to avoid burning.’

makes about 1 cup

¼ cup amaranth

Warm a small heavy-bottomed pot with a lid over high heat for 2 minutes.  Add 1 tablespoon amaranth and cover pot immediately.  Count 5 seconds and shake pan; You will hear the grain popping rapidly.  Shake again, or until all the grains are popped.   I could never get all the grains to pop, but this is no problem, as even the unpopped grains are crunchy.  Quickly transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining amaranth, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Set aside.

to make the amaranth bars:

Line a 7-inch x 7-inch square dish with baking paper.

Remove the seed from the dates and measure out 100 grams.  Place them in a bowl and mash with a fork.  If your dates are not soft, soak them in water for a few minutes, then drain well and proceed to mash.  Add the melted coconut oil, almond butter, salt, lemon zest, ginger and coconut flakes.  Mix well, pushing down with the back of a fork, until combined.  Add the amaranth, chopped almonds and 2 tablespoons of dried goji berries, incorporating everything evenly.  The mixture may seem dry, but this is fine as it will be packed tightly in the dish.

Using your hands or the back of a spoon, press the mixture very tightly into the lined dish, until completely even and flat.  Place in the fridge while preparing the carob coating.

to make the carob coating :

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan, then turn off the heat. Add the maple syrup and carob powder. Mix with a small whisk or fork until smooth. Stir in the vanilla essence and set aside.

Remove the amaranth slice from the fridge, then using a spatula, spread the carob coating evenly over the slice.  Sprinkle with the remaining dried goji berries and shredded coconut.

Place in the fridge for at least an hour, until cold and firm.  Using a sharp knife, cut into bite-sized squares or rectangular bars.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  The bars will keep up to 2 weeks, probably longer if they last that long.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

wonderfully crunchy gingery ‘snaps’ (vegan)

31st January 2016

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Wispy golden clouds on the horizon, waiting for a new day to arrive.  A warm teacup in hand, birds singing joyously.  Every day, new sounds, more colours and new life.  A kitchen filled with heady scents of aromatic spices.

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Armstrong Redwoods State Park, Guerneville CA

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Anna – gracious and heartfelt.  A gift.  Thank you for looking after me while I was with you and sharing those special places you knew so well that I would appreciate. These are for you.  So simple, healthy, gingery with a wonderful, crunchy, “snappy” texture.

ginger snaps

wonderfully crunchy gingery ‘snaps’

makes 24

I have made these weekly since discovering this recipe.  I love their wonderful quality to stay crunchy for days and days, as they sit in a jar waiting for a tea or almond milk moment – a break from work. Depending on the strength of your molasses, the colour may vary.  I use a light molasses which is also in the gingerbread spice cake.

The recipe is taken from ‘Angelica Home Kitchen Cookbook’.

ingredients :

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup blanched, slivered almonds

1 cup whole-spelt flour

1½ Tblsp powdered ginger

1 tsp cinnamon powder

¼ tsp nutmeg/mace

½ tsp fine rock salt

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup mild-flavoured molasses

1 tsp vanilla essence

cup olive oil

preparation :

Preheat oven to 160C/325F.  Line two baking trays with parchment paper.

Spread the oats and almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.

Place the oats, flour, almonds, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a food processor and grind to a very fine meal.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, molasses, vanilla and oil, until well combined.  Stir in the dry ingredients until a thick dough is formed.

Take a heaped teaspoon of the dough, roll into a ball and place on a lined baking tray.  Press down to flatten into a 2-inch circle, approximately 3mm thickness.  To flatten, I used a small piece of parchment paper between the underside of a glass and the cookie. You may have to use a combination of the glass and fingers to flatten.  It is a bit fiddly, but the finished biscuit is well worth it.  Once one tray is finished, place in the oven and bake for 18 minutes while continuing with the rest of the dough, spreading out onto the second baking tray.

Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

chocolate covered ‘caramels’ (vegan)

20th December 2015

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The rain has been heavy and relentless these last days.  The air thick with mist & fog, so much so I cannot see the vegetable garden from where I sit.  No choice but to stay inside, to go inside.  It feels like an offering, one where everything must slow down.  A reminder to appreciate and be thankful for all these blessings which tend to pass by.

A few photos taken a while back, on drier sunnier days

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These are a lovely gift to give to family & friends for the holiday season, just wrap them up in some recycled paper, a ribbon with a little bit of nature tucked in somewhere.  Some other ideas are this homemade raw halvah & zesty mango bliss balls.  Or an assortment of all three!

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chocolate covered ‘caramels’

Makes 14 bite-sized balls

Recipe inspired by ‘Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen’

These are a really special indulgent sweet, a favourite with my husband.  

Once set, the texture is a lovely chocolate crunch on the outside with a soft gooey caramel on the inside. And no nasty sugars or additives. To speed up the process, you could easily melt down your favourite chocolate bar.

The original recipe used 2 tablespoons of Lucama powder (a dried, sweet fruit packed with nutrients and goodness) into the caramel.  A great way to add a superfood to your diet. 

for the caramel bites

100g Medjool dates, pitted – about 7 large dates (can use regular dates, but keep in mind soaking time will be longer)

4 Tbsp coconut butter

for the dark vanilla chocolate

25g cocoa butter

15g cacao powder

2½ Tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

chopped toasted almonds & coconut for garnish

preparation:

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

Soak the dates for at least an hour in filtered water.

Drain the dates and blend with the coconut butter.  Use a hand blender/immersion blender as this seems to work best.  You will have to scrape down the bowl and blade as you blend.  Place the mixture in the freezer for 15 minutes to thicken a little before rolling.

After fifteen minutes, take the caramel mixture from the freezer.  Using a heaped teaspoon of the mixture, roll into a small ball about half the size of a golf ball.

Place the balls on the lined tray and place in the freezer for half an hour (This will make the chocolate dipping easier).

Prepare the vanilla chocolate dipping sauce.  Put an inch or two of water in a small saucepan and bring to a faint simmer.  Place another small non-reactive bowl (glass works well) on top so that it sits over the water, but is not touching the bottom of the saucepan.  ‘Shave’ the cocoa butter with a sharp knife and place into the bowl (shaving the coconut butter will make it easier to melt).  Add the coconut sugar to the bowl and stir to combine.  When the cocoa butter has melted,  sift in the cocoa powder, drizzle in the vanilla essence and whisk until completely smooth.  Remove from the stove, cool the chocolate mixture ever so slightly, keeping it runny, but not too runny for dipping.

Dip the caramel balls into the chocolate mixture.  I find using a fork helps scoop them out of the chocolate and to place them back onto the tray. Sprinkle with chopped almonds or coconut and repeat with the remaining caramel mixture.  Place in the fridge to set for half an hour.  Once the caramel balls have set, keep them in a sealed container in the fridge.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

raw carrot cake slice with lemon cream (vegan)

13th August 2015

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Packed up and ready to go home to Portugal, after being in Australia for three magical weeks with family.

Winter here – Summer there.

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Just before I left home, I photographed and experimented with this recipe for a series of raw foods I compiled for ‘Holmes Place Magazine’.  I made it a few times for the Jivana Yoga Programme with an all-around enthusiastic and thumbs-up response.  I am looking forward to making it again on arrival.

Simple and grounding when life seems anything but – in between places and planes.

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raw carrot cake slice with lemon cream

serves 12

You can use spice powders that have already been ground,  just reduce the amounts, but I find that the freshly grated ginger and ground spices make a huge difference in the aromatic taste of this heavenly raw carrot cake slice.  It is well worth the extra effort.

Recipe slightly adapted from here and here

ingredients :

2 cups finely grated carrots – approximately 4 medium carrots

1 cup rolled oats

¾ cup dried coconut

1 cup raw walnuts

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 Tblsp freshly grated ginger

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (can use the smaller side of a box grater)

¼ tsp/3 pods freshly ground cardamom

a pinch of salt

1½ cups Medjool or soft dates (about 11 dates), pitted

¼ cup dried cranberries

lemon cream

1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight or for at least four hours)

1 vanilla bean

1 Tbsp solid coconut oil

4 Tblsp lemon juice

4 Tblsp maple syrup/honey

zest from two lemons

preparation :

Line a 9-inch square tart pan with baking paper or if you have a 9-inch square loose based pastry tray.

Wash and peel the carrots, then grate them by using the smaller grater attachment of a food processor or the smaller side of a box grater. (If using the box grater, you may have to squeeze out any excess juice). Measure to make sure you have two cups.  Set aside.

In a food processor or high-speed blender, process/grind the oats until they begin to make a coarse flour. Add the dried coconut and process for 15 seconds more.  Place into a medium-sized bowl.

Process the walnuts until they begin to turn into a coarse flour.  Pour into the medium bowl with the oat and coconut flour.  Remove the outer pods from the cardamom.  Place the seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind until you have a rough powder.  Grate the nutmeg and ginger using the smaller side of a box grater.  Add all the spices and ginger to the oat mixture along with the salt and cinnamon powder. Mix well to combine.

Add the grated carrot, dates and dried cranberries to the food processor, and mix until the dates become well incorporated and chopped. There will be chunks of dates pieces.  Combine this with the oat mixture, mixing everything together by using a pressing motion with the back of a metal spoon.  Make sure everything is well incorporated, ensuring you break up the grated ginger.

Press the cake mixture as evenly as possible into the square pan.  Set aside.

prepare the lemon cream :

Drain the cashews and place in a high-speed blender.  Run a knife down the length of the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.  Add to the blender along with the coconut oil, lemon juice, zest and maple syrup. Puree until smooth.  Taste and adjust the amount of lemon or maple syrup.

Spread the lemon cream evenly over the cake. Garnish with coconut, lemon zest, roughly chopped pumpkin seeds or walnuts and edible flowers.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours before cutting into small squares.  Find a quiet corner in the garden and enjoy the vibrancy of this food!

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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